Starbucks

Foodie News: A PSA on the PSL and I put the “D” in Foodie

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve been waiting all week to spread the good news. No, not the Gospel (sorry for the joke, Mom). But this good news: Starbucks is giving its classic Pumpkin Spice Latte a makeover and using real pumpkin puree instead of caramel coloring and other nonsense.

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You know why this is particularly exciting for me? I’m as basic as it gets in every way. I live in my lululemon leggings, I wear scarves the minute the temperature dips below 70 degrees, I crave Diet Coke like a MOFO when I’m stressed out, and when September comes around I want ALL THINGS PUMPKIN. The one thing I haven’t gotten on board with? The PSL. It’s just never tasted good to me. So who knows — maybe this change will bring me to full-fledged basic status.

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How Much Do You Know About Food? I was really excited to rock the crap out of this test. And then I got 15/20…which, if I remember from high school, would be a D. So apparently I’m a fraud. You all can just close your browsers now. Damn you, Taramasalata!

I was recently coerced into buying $12 worth of chicken sausage at the store. Now, before you get all judgey, just hear me out. There were samples, it was a sweet old man selling them, we talked for a few minutes about all the dishes I could incorporate them into, AND he topped it all off with a coupon. SOLD.

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I have been alllllllllll about that chicken sausage life since buying these. My roommate Emma and I have been putting our two selections in all the food: I’ve been slicing the Pineapple and Bacon and throwing it into my omelets every morning, and adding the Sun Dried Tomato sausages to pasta dishes. It’s been a magical, meaty few days.

I recently discovered a Forever Yogurt that is a straight up club. It’s located underground and the inside is lit up by neon lights. It’s right by my work and is going to make things very difficult from now on. Not only does Forever Yogurt have all the toppings imaginable, this place is like The Mid at 2am on a Saturday night, so once you’re in it feels like a froyo rave (how are these not a thing yet?)

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Speaking of temptations near my work, a Goddess and Grocer opened up as well. Their sandwiches, baked goods, hot bar, etc. offer outstanding choices (remember the sandwich I got from there a few months ago?)

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Well now I’m on their coffee kick. 1) because it’s killer coffee 2) because their sleeves all have different sayings on them. The first cup I read said: “Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.” I’ve been back a few days a week ever since just to see what the sleeve will say. Well played, Goddess. Well played.

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Well that’s all I’ve got in the world of foodie news. Cutting edge journalism, as usual.

Questions:

  • Raisin cookies: delicious in their own right or manipulative?
  • PSL: can’t live with ’em or can’t live without ’em?
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almost wordless week(end)

What’s new, crew! Sorry I disappeared for a few days – the rest of the week was a bit of a blur thanks to some unforeseen family stuff and I usually don’t have time to write on the weekends (too busy eating to write about eating, yaknowwhatimean?)

But while it’s been eventful to say the least, I did manage to have some great moments of fun out and about. If I took the time to explain each and every moment this post would be a decade long so let’s do an (almost) wordless weekend.

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Just a little pumpkin-crazy

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Early morning run in my favorite tech top from lululemon.

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…Followed by a heavy dose of veggie icing and the Today show

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Got some Skoop in the mail! So excited to review this next week for you guys!

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And just like that it’s fall in Chicago! On the walk to work

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Avocado-tomato grilled cheese + pumpkin beer.

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Slowly (but surely) building up the muscles again. Yoga Sculpt

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio - my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn't take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio – my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn’t take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!

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Eating allll the pizza

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Moscow Mule + pizza with olive oil, garlic (so much!), basil, feta and tomatoes. I died.

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It's the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him...

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It’s the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him…

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BYOO – Bring Your Own Oatmeal to Starbucks. 9 out of 10 times the baristas will help a sister out 🙂

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Bad mood killer. Best snack in the history of snacks. Candy corn + super salty peanuts

I’m also trying to create a pumpkin chili recipe today so I’ll be sharing that as soon as I’m sure it tastes great 😉

Can’t wait to read all about your weekends! Have a fabulous Monday!

Questions:

  • What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
  • Love or hate John Mayer?
  • Best part of your weekend…go!

random round-up friday

Hi, Friends!

Happy Friday! I woke up in the best mood ever. Don’t you love when that happens? It’s been such a good week and I can’t wait to share all the news with you. First things first, I got a new job!

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I was lucky enough to land one of the coveted paid internships over at Weber Shandwick! Not only will I be working on high-profile clients and working in an office that is nothing short of gorgeous, but I’ll be working with my best friend Megan. To say that I’m excited is an understatement. I start next Monday and couldn’t be happier! Plus, see that bigggg building in the picture below? That’s where I’m going to be working everyday. Is that legit or what?

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Okay enough about work, although that is my exciting news for the week! It’s been a few days so let’s do a random round-up of the things that have been swirling around my mind this week.

Is it time for cold drinks at Starbucks yet?

I’m not sure if this is a Chicago thing but Starbucks has realllllly been pushing their iced coffee and macchiatos lately. I probably pass six stores on my walk to work and I’m constantly faced with mouth-watering pictures of cool, creamy creations. However, and this is a big however, when it’s 30-something degrees everyday the last thing I want is an iced drink. All I want when I finally get into the office is a hot piping cup of coffee, plain and simple. So I have to ask, Starbucks, next year wait until the sun comes out for more than two hours in a day before you tempt me with your deliciousness. I just can’t handle it when my brain and my heart want two different things.

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Oil pulling

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Have any of you heard of this? It’s based on an ancient Ayurvedic practice and many celebrities swear by it. You put a tablespoon or two of oil (I chose coconut oil) in your mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes. People claim that benefits include whiter teeth, better breath, relief from migraines, eczema, arthritis and bronchitis, as well as better vision and mild hangovers. I’m not on board with it being a miracle practice but I swished coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes and it felt pretty darn good. At first it was gag-inducing–it felt like I had just put lard in my mouth. Luckily the mild coconut taste made it tolerable. After 20 excruciatingly long minutes I was done and my mouth felt awesome. If anything it made my post-dinner sweet tooth go away and definitely left my mouth feeling cleaner. Ironically enough, however, my eczema has gotten worse in the past few days so I’m definitely not going to believe that this does anything for your body other than clean out your mouth. Oil pulling is definitely an interesting thing to do and I’d suggest that everyone try it at least once. I love alternative medicine so this was a very cool experiment. Now to try scraping….

Adreian Payne and Princess Lacey

If you haven’t seen this story yet, please do yourself a favor and check it out. I’ve seen it a few times now and constantly am brought to tears by it. I can’t handle how they call each other “brother and sister.” It’s a breathtaking, remarkable kind of love story. Children should not get cancer. Are you kidding me? Is there anything more maddening in this world? It’s absolutely sickening that this little girl’s childhood has been destroyed.

Boutiques on Wheels

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Classic Good Morning America letting me in on all the up-and-coming trends/stories. You know food trucks? Well now there are fashion trucks! You pop in, shop around, and can leave the fashion truck with a whole new outfit. The jury’s out on this one for me; on the one hand I can totally see this being less overwhelming than walking into a massive store and trying to find an outfit. But on the other hand I just can’t imagine something on wheels offering enough options and comfort for me to actually want to shop in it. It’s tough to visualize, but we’ll see if this trend has enough traction to stick around.

Making myself stretch – the reality of recovery time

I’ve been running a lot more than normal, usually 3x per week. This is pretty impressive for me considering I’m logging all these miles on the treadmill until the weather gets friendlier. But, as we all know, what comes with more miles? More need to stretch. I haaaate stretching. I hate sitting still and being calm and  all that jazz so stretching is not my favorite. But like getting check-ups and cleaning your bathroom, it’s just painfully necessary. It’s not only necessary to make long-term running safe, but it’s important to make sure I recover as fast as possible. I’m telling you, four years ago when I caught the running bug I could bust out four miles and not be sore at all. Nowadays just sitting after a four mile run is painful. Oh how age gets us, eh? (Kidding). But nonetheless stretching, icing, and foam rolling has to happen, plain and simple. I’ve figured out a way to make it bearable…mainly by stretching while eating and watching TV. Multitasking distracts me from stretch-induced boredom.

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So what did I miss the past few days? I can’t wait to catch up on all your blogs! But for now tell me the most random things from your week. Have a great weekend! Eat great food!

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keep calm and run like simba

Hey all!

I hope you had a kickass weekend.  Mine was….busy to say the least, but I like it that way! I ate great food and even got to run outside, so I can’t complain.  The fact that it was warm enough to get outside and pound the pavement got me way too excited for spring, a pretty premature feeling here in Chicagoland according to the weatherman.

But hey, I’ll take what I can get. The only downside was I couldn’t find a headband for the life of me so I looked like Simba by mile four.

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One of the most important things I did this weekend was sign up for the Shamrock Shuffle downtown this upcoming Sunday! I was going back and forth about actually running this…call it fear, call it laziness, call it tight-wallet syndrome but I just couldn’t commit. Well I finally bit the bullet yesterday and registered. I’ll be running with my friend Jordan, and with a new playlist and visions of our post-race brunch, I’m confident that I’m going to kick butt.  Here’s to hoping it hits 40 degrees!

In terms of food I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies and pure sources of protein into my diet in preparation of summer, and I’ve definitely been making some progress! Like we talked about last week, it’s hard to crave veggies in cold weather (unless they’re covered in cheese, of course) but I’ve done a decent job. Not to mention I’m still balancing those healthy choices with things like cheesy chicken quesadillas the size of my head and chocolate. It’s a work in progress.

I have a crazy amount of work to do over the next few days so I’ll be back on Wednesday! But until then, here are a few pictures of my weekend happenings. Have a great Monday! Can you believe it’s almost April? Good lord.

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shrimp, jicama, avocado, black beans, queso fresco, corn, peppers, tomatoes and onions

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Protein Box from Starbucks

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Pounded chicken with a panko/red pepper flake/garlic crust, baked at 400 for 45 minutes. Served with “hot pasta” aka pasta, finger hot peppers, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and salt. Also the smallest glass of wine you’ll ever see

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Homemade bran muffins

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This was the best thing I saw all weekend. I don’t understand if there’s a cake in there or if m&ms just spill out, but either way, sign me up

Questions:

  • What was the best thing you did this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite part of spring that you’re looking forward to?

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WIAW + it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas

I’m officially in the holiday spirit. Sure, I have a bad cold thanks to the lovely winds and quick weather changes that the Midwest so graciously provides each and every year. Yeah, I’m still working doubles almost every day this week. But you know what? It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Starbucks transported me into a winter wonderland yesterday, where I got a lot of my work done.  Breakfast was enjoyed with a cappuccino in a holiday cup, surrounded by Christmas jazz, and a background of mini Christmas trees.

ImageNo room for Scrooges here–I’ll get my work done with a smile and enjoy the holiday season as it approaches. After all, it’s always gone before I know it.

Lunch was basically breakfast part two. I think I have an egg addiction…even though my doctor warned me about my cholesterol (successfully making me feel like an overweight, middle-aged Italian mobster) I just can’t get enough.  

ImageLunch was a two egg omelet filled with green and red peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, and served alongside veggie sausage patties.  I really need to update my meal rotation.

I had more work to complete throughout the afternoon but of course I made time for snacks:Image

Homemade ginger lemonade (to help fight the cold), no sugar applesauce with tons of cinnamon, and a peanut butter english muffin (sprinkled with chia and flax seeds.  i love me some omega-3s).

Serving was busy as I was up in the bar, but the fact that people seem to get friendlier as the holidays approach helped a lot. I wish people could feel that warm and fuzzy all year long, especially towards their servers 😉

Dinner was eaten at the restaurant while I closed up shop.

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Vegan chili (black beans, red beans, chickpeas, and tons of veggies topped with avocado, red onion, and tomatoes). The fact that I made it through this meal without adding cheese or corn bread astonished me too.

I got home just in time for Modern Family to start. I cuddled up on the couch with some cheese, crackers, apples, and peanut butter and called it a night. ((I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m always hungry))

I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday cheer! It might not be time to turn on the Christmas music station, but the feeling is in the air!  Have a great Wednesday and eat lots of goooood eats.

Question:

  • Is it too early to listen to holiday music?

Thought for the day:

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