Monday, August 24, 2015

This weekend I:

Watched: my first movie at the theater since I moved to Chicago 
Listened: my mom talk about the new game app she is playing 
Learned: being brave is hard 
Ate: AMAZING queso from Bar Cocina 
Read: GoogleMaps directions to drive all over Chicago 
Drank: mini wine bottles 
Thought: you can't do this...yes you you can't....YES YOU CAN! 
Wished: I could see the future 
Realized: my mom doesn't know how much I look up to and admire her 
Bought: gluten-less doughnuts! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Exploring: The Lincoln Park Zoo

Well, hello!

As the summer starts to draw to a close, I can just feel my student loan payments creeping around the corner. With that in mind, I have been trying to focus on all the free (amazing) things to do in Chi-Town! I was pretty surprised when I realized that, that list included the Lincoln Park Zoo!

I am not the biggest fans of zoos in general...I get a little bored and tired walking around, hehe. So, I am not sure if it is because I didn't have to pay or if this zoo is really just that amazing, but I LOVED it! 

The animals always seem to be out and about, there are photos opps around every corner, and did I mention that it is free? 

I can't wait to go back again and next time with my nephew! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Caffeine Kick: Cold Brew

Wake up, wake up!

Somehow, I have become even more addicted to coffee since moving to Chicago..or should I say since I started living the 8-5pm work-life.

I feel like it seems as though I am complaining but, honestly, I LOVE it! I feel like Lorelei Gilmore. I drink at least two cups every morning and usually get another one or two cups in after lunch. During the week, it is easy to fuel this addiction with the amazing Yelp cafe, providing me with as many lattes and cappuccinos as I can handle (which in reality is probably just two cups).

The weekend is a different story. In an attempt to spend the least amount of money possible, I only order lattes when I can use the Popular Pays app. Otherwise, I get drip-coffee, iced coffee, or...COLD BREW.

That's right, folks. I have been trying to jump onto the cold brew train. It took me a while to truly enjoy iced coffee and it is taking me even longer to get into cold brew.

Don't ask me why...maybe it is just something I do or maybe it is a coffee-drinker thing...but I kind of like the challenge of having to get used to a new type of coffee drink.

Here is my current coffee drinking progression:

  1. decaf coffee at family functions during dessert
  2. coffee from gas stations
  3. drip coffee
  4. a dabble with espresso shots during my semester in Rome
  5. flavored lattes
  6. Starbucks macchiatos (the Starbucks part is key)
  7. flat whites during my semester in London
  8. iced coffee
  9. cold brew

Friday, August 14, 2015

Exploring: Lakeview

Hello, hello! 

I think it's about time that this city started to feel like home to me. My family's first visit felt more like a vacation rather than me actually showing them around where I live. We went to places I had never been before and experienced things I hadn't yet tried. 

But recently, my mom came up for the weekend and this time it was a little different.

We went to restaurants in my neighborhood including Glaze and Wheat's End. We walked the streets that I travel on everyday. It felt great to show her around and take her to some of my favorite places! The highlight of our day was, of course, grocery shopping in the biggest Aldi we have ever been in! It was so great to do something routine but enjoy it a lot more because I did it with my mom. 

Not only did my mom visit but, as my Instagram and Snapchat followers know, my pup visited too! Chicago is truly a brilliant city for dogs, especially in my neighborhood. I can't imagine taking Molly out on the coldest of days here in the city, but in the Summer, Chi-Town should be called Dog-Town...I know, that was cheesy but I couldn't help myself. 

It was sad to see my mom leave and sometimes I still wish I just lived in Pittsburgh with her and the rest of my family and friends, but it I am feeling happier to be here with every day that passes. Plus, I will be home in a few weeks for a friend's wedding, so I can't really complain anyways!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Outfit of the day!!

(top: Forever 21 biker shorts: Forever 21 sandals: Birkenstocks bag: h&m) 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bartelme Park

Hello, everyone!

Do you know what my favorite thing about a city is? The public parks. I feel like you can really get to know a new city, or even just a new part of your town, by spending an afternoon exploring a new public park.

This probably isn't a shock to most of you, this blog does hold it's own section labeled London Parks :)

 Don't get me wrong I love walking into a train full of people, zooming straight into the center of town, and exploring the crowded streets...but sometimes I can't help but feel a little pressured and self-conscious surrounded so closely by everyone.

On days when I feel like this, I find myself grabbing a good book, my iPhone, and heading straight the closest public park.

Most recently, I travelled to Bartleme Park in Chicago! After my whole family spent the night in my small, studio apartment, we were all desperate for a little space to stretch our legs. It was just what we needed! There was plenty of grass to nap on, public art to Instagram, a play area for my nephew, and a lemonade stand! 

I am excited to see how all of these public spaces are transformed in the winter. I just can't even imagine what this place will look like covered in snow. The scary thing is that I won't have to try to imagine it for much longer. Somehow, I have already lived in Chicago for two months and time doesn't seem to be slowing down! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

This weekend I:

Watched: my favorite tv shows with my mom 
Listened: to my pup (Molly) bark at every dog that passed her in Chicago 
Learned: that my ideal day is pretty much identical to my mom's ideal day 
Ate: zero gluten all weekend! 
Read: the first few chapters of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Drank: Moscato from Trader Joe's 
Thought: that work will be amazing this week if I just keep my attitude positive
Wished: I could have a dog in my apartment...aka Molly 
Realized: that eating gluten free isn't always that difficult 
Bought: soooo many groceries from Aldi because we had a car to bring it home in!