Thursday, September 29, 2016

What Does Your Coffee Order Say About You?

Hey pals! It’s my favorite day of the year — national coffee day. Okay, truthfully, Christmas is a little more exciting, but still... You can get coffee for free at lots of places today! Or you can pay for a higher quality cup of coffee at a local shop! Which will you do? More importantly, what does that decision say about you?

I’ve rounded up several common coffee shop orders and determined through a highly scientific process what these drinks say about your personality. If you’re anything like me, you’ve ordered every single one of the drinks on this list. But when you close your eyes, take a deep breath and think of your one, true favorite beverage — the one you’d spend the rest of your life committed to with no doubts — which one is it? Find it below and see if you agree.

Espresso (If you pronounce it es-press-oh) — You're a "git r done" type, with the résumé to prove it. The amount you "git done" increases exponentially depending on how many shots you order.

Espresso (If you pronounce it ex-press-oh) — You're friends with a "git r done" type, and if you hang around that person long enough, they're sure to rub off on you. Keep on keepin' on!

Chai — You’ve got a little boho in you, and you don’t play by anybody’s rules. May currently be wearing a Free People dress or Hawaiian shirt.

Hot Chocolate — You’re not old enough for coffee yet, but your day is coming soon.

Iced Coffee — You're always hot, so you order it iced. Or you just perpetually wish it were summer, and I can't say that I blame you for that. P.S. One of my first blog posts ever was a recipe for home-brewed iced coffee. Adorable, right?

Pour Over — You’ve started more than one sentence today with the word, “actually…”, but overall, you’re a really nice guy. Be careful! The coffee’s hot; make sure it doesn’t drip on your beard.

Black Coffee, Prepared at Home — You’re no-nonsense, you plan ahead, and you’re frugal. Or you’re a blogger who wanted an excuse to use her new Anthropologie mug.

Tea — You haven't acquired the taste for coffee yet, and you're okay with that.

Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with extra Mocha Drizzle — You haven't acquired the taste for coffee yet, but you desperately want to.

Pumpkin Spice Latte — You live for comfort, fall, and most importantly, leggings.

Vanilla Latte — You’re just a little sweeter than the average latte, and unexpectedly refreshing. Come over here; you can sit by me.

Did your order of choice make the list? Will you be celebrating National Coffee Day

Monday, September 26, 2016

Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles

So I finally made zucchini noodles...

Hands raised if you've tried z noodles — er, zoodles? I first heard about them earlier this year when Austin and I were about to do Whole30, but I didn't actually get around to making them until a few weeks ago.

It's really easy, honestly. You just have to get a vegetable spiralizer, make the "noodles" and cook them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The only downside is the zoodles are prone to being watery, so it's best if you can pat them with paper towels, but you'll still need to prep yourself because they're not exactly like eating spaghetti.

But, with a little meat sauce and some basil, it's close enough! To be totally honest, the first time I tried making zucchini noodles I also tried to make this fancy-pants pesto sauce, but I didn't have a food processor, so I used a blender instead. Pro-tip: When recipes call for a food processor, a blender doesn't always do the job. I ended up sitting in the McDonald's drive through that night reminiscing on how far I'd fallen.

So anyway, this is just a simple meat sauce. With no recipe. What did you think this is, a food blog or something?? (My bad.)

I tried spiralizing squash recently, and I liked that a little better than the zucchini. Adding chicken, tomatoes, olive oil and spices really made it yummy. As far as zoodles go, what other recipes should I try?!

Send me your recipes! xoxo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brunch at The Allis

See! I told you this brunch was good enough for it's own post. I'll be careful not to overstate how great it was, but it miiiiight have changed my life.

First, a little bit about the location. The Allis is located in the first floor lobby of Soho House Chicago, a hotel in the Fulton Market District (in the West Loop). Soho House itself is a concept created in London in 1995 as "home away from home" for those in the creative industry. You can apply to be a member to either a local Soho House (North America locations include Chicago, New York, Miami and West Hollywood) or to "every house" which includes lots of bougie cities around the globe.

Oh, and they'll only accept your application if you've been recommended by two other pre-existing members. It sounds like a beautiful, magical type of "Fight Club" if you ask me. Check out this article from Crains for more fun facts about its exclusivity.

So, obviously, we didn't become members, but we did take them up on their exquisite brunch. The Allis is one of the few places non-members can eat in Soho House — and take photos, for that matter.

We were lucky enough to get there when it wasn't very busy! We had a long, relaxing brunch — with the best company in the most drool-worthy location. Oh, and speaking of drool-worthy...

We looked up the brunch menu before we went, so I had a feeling I was going to go for the Allis Breakfast. I ended up ordering it with absolutely zero regret — so good. Next time I'd try another dish just to see the variety, but I can already tell you I'm going to have an intense internal debate about ordering anything else. Lox, egg, tomato and avocado are a breakfast combination straight out of heaven. Plus, everything is sourced locally, so you know it's fresh.

Actually, see that Chicken Shop sign? I may have to give that a try next time I'm in Chicago. They marinate rotisserie chicken overnight and serve it up with sides.

And look how fun it is!

Like a completely different world once you walk up a few stairs.

This brunch experience was worth a whole blog post, so, needless to say, I'll be back!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Our Weekend Trip to Chicago

There's so much I could say about our 3-day weekend trip to Chicago, and I'll say a little, but I'll mostly let these photos speak for themselves:

We had lots of fun checking out Chicago's coolest murals!

Ashlyn and her friend, Tyler, showed us some of their favorite spots.

We checked out Lake Shore and saw the sailboats.

Took the metro and walked on the 606.

Took a stroll around the lovely Lincoln Park area (right by an Urban Outfitters Surplus Store — dreams do come true)!

Drank chai at the Chia Chai — I've never seen so many chai varieties in my life (and look how cute it is)!

Had the best brunch of our lives at The Allis — but more on that in a separate post (it was that good).

Stayed in a mansion.

...just kidding, this is a miniature room from the Art Institute (SO cool, also one of the only photos I took at the Art Institute because I was so enthralled with the sights).

Speaking of artsy, I love this sign at Goddess and the Baker. We had a yummy lunch there.

We went out of our way to try Bang Bang Pie, since all of my foodie friends recommended it. Turns out they closed early that day in preparation for Labor Day, but as I was peeking in the window, an employee took pity on us and gave us a whole key lime pie for free! Bang bang!

I had my very first Chicago dog at Portillo's. I didn't even know you were supposed to leave the pickle on it!

We took a stroll around the Chicago Riverwalk.

We rode Divvy bikes to get donuts (I think you're allowed to eat more donuts if you get there via bike).

Did some obligatory shopping around Michigan Ave.

Ate another great brunch at Bongo Room in Wicker Park.

And you know we had to stop by the Bean.

Oh, we ate pizza, too, but I didn't grab a photo of that. What did we miss?! What should we put on our list for next time? I'm already looking forward to our next trip north!

Monday, September 12, 2016

One Dress, Two Cities

So what do you do if you're shopping with a friend and you both go for the same item? Do you call dibs or let your pal have the coveted item of clothing? I'm sure how teenage you would answer that quiz in an issue of Seventeen says something about your personality.

As for me? I say we can both snag it! And I lucked into having great friends because Ashlyn found this dress first and she was happy to let me jump on her bandwagon.

So you want to talk about the dress? Cool, me too. In case you didn't notice, it's overalls. And a dress/skirt. So if you're super clever like me and Ash, you can call them skoveralls. It's a new word we've invented, but I expect it to be all over New York Fashion Week.

We found the brilliant piece of denim at a Zara in Chicago. We quickly realized we could wear them with just about anything — the perfect transitional piece from late summer to fall. (RIP summer I love you).

So here it is: one dress, two ways — or one dress, two cities — whichever you prefer. I styled mine "fancy" (or as fancy as denim overalls can get). Basically what I'm saying is, I wore mine to church (and coffee beforehand and brunch afterward and Aldi later that day). So, yes. Very fancy.

Ashlyn wore her skoveralls our last day running around Chicago together, so she styled it for more of a city day. A small, over-the-shoulder bag and sneaks are a must when you're walking all day! (RIP summer and RIP our feet, also).

Oh, so I'm sure some of you are wondering who Ashlyn is. She's my boyfriend's sister, and she's the best. She goes to school up in Chicago; last week Austin and I were able to go up and visit her. We had such a sweet time, and if teleportation was a thing and work didn't exist, I'd totally be hanging out in Chicago with her right now.

Oh, and the other sweet thing we found?? This mural in Chicago. That one's just self explanatory.

What do you think of this trend. Are you into it, or over-all it?