random thoughts friday

Vacation dreaming

I love to travel. I have a lot of favorite cities depending on what kind of trip I’m looking for.  Feeling patriotic? DC all the way.  Beauty in nature? Sioux Falls, South Dakota. International adventure? Prague Prague Prague.

But the one city that I think has it all…is Austin, TX.



I’ve been there twice in the past year and a half and it. has. everything. From paddleboarding to live music to breakfast tacos and everything in between, I’m head over heels in love with Austin. Now that the weather is getting colder and colder I can’t stop dreaming about frozen margaritas overlooking Lake Travis while the sun goes down.  It’s a cheap trip and definitely worth it if you just want a few days away to escape to a land where there’s music in the streets and food trucks abound.

Food for thought (literally)


It makes me so sad that my beloved Mars company is up there. M&Ms, I’ll never give you up but man, I just don’t feel good about looking at this chart.  I hate thinking that very few corporations have so much control over what I eat. I’ll never be fortunate enough to go totally organic, but this kind of thing makes me step back and really think about what I’m buying. There’s a reason why no conglomerate can get their hands on apples, you know? Whole foods FTW.

Why I love to write


There’s something special about writing. Until I started this blog, I had pretty much stopped writing for fun, an activity that took up much of my life before I left for college. I’ve always been a million times better at writing than I am at speaking. There’s just something about a pen and paper that helps me get out exactly what I mean, with no fillers or things that can be misconstrued.  I’ve also always valued the fact that I can write down how I’m feeling and look back on it in retrospect. It’s almost as if with everything I’ve ever written I can get a better picture of who I was at that time, when all that I have besides my written words are pictures, and those don’t say much. Most people who write aren’t writing for the sake of it, but because they have something to share that they just can’t muster up the words for.  Even food bloggers, who don’t seem like they have anything important to say, are usually sharing some parts of their personal life through their blogs. People like me who have spent years trying to figure out the “right” way to eat and have come out on the other side just want to share their love for food and fitness to the world. We have something to say.  And while some people can read blogs like mine and think “what’s the point?” others read it and can relate.

Thanksgiving is almost here!

Thanksgiving is on the way! It’s no surprise that this is my favorite holiday of the year. I’d imagine that for many food bloggers it’s the same. And it’s funny because it’s not the food itself that gets me so excited for this day. I’ve always been in love with the process of making food. The family all jammed into a small kitchen, each calling dibs on different stovetops and oven temps. I love having football on in the background while we prepare mashed potatoes or set the table. The rituals are what I look forward to the most. The idea that it’s not about giving/getting things (which can be stressful) but just about being together to eat at one beautifully filled table once a year–that’s why I love turkey day!  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is the recipe I made for the big meal last year.  If you’re struggling to think of something to bring to your celebration, definitely consider this (minus the mushrooms because that’s just gross).


Burned out

I’ve worked out once this week. Oh well. I’ve been burned out. My days this week have been spent looking like this:


I also have a pretty bad cold and this weather makes my asthma go nuts so nothing about waking up each morning made me want to exercise. The funniest part is that even though I’ve barely worked out all week, the world is still spinning. Weird, right?

Luckily New Girl has kept me great company. Until this passes, it’s just me, my couch, and Schmidt.



Happy Friday, everyone!


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:


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


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).



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


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


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?



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!


  • Do you start doing holiday activities before Thanksgiving?