CHICAGO

Favorite Spots in Logan Square

It’s Sunday and I think this is the first blog that I have been “on schedule” for in a LONG time. Per usual, I am writing about Chicago. Who’s surprised?! This was the first weekend where Connor and I were actually in Chicago for an entire weekend. It was actually really nice on Friday, but Saturday it snowed. The snow didn’t last long because I am sitting by a window at a coffee shop (Sawada Coffee in West Loop) enjoying the sunshine while writing this.

Anyway, the point of this blog is to share some fun spots in Logan Square. I love Logan Square. It is off the Blue Line (the California and Logan Square stops), maybe 20 minutes from the actual city. I love going there for food, coffee, drinks, and just to walk around. In the summertime, it has the BEST farmer’s market. I am so excited to enjoy it more this summer, since it will be our first full summer here in Chicago. Here are some my favorite places in Logan Square…

Revolution Brewing: Yummy beer and food! I love the veggie burger here. It was my favorite veggie burger until recently, but you’ll see why it’s my second favorite now soon! You can find it right off the California Blue Line stop.

Pretty Cool Ice Cream: I have brought this up before awhile back! Pretty Cool opened a week after I moved to Chicago, and it has a been a favorite since. It has so many popsicles and ice cream treats. Plus, it’s adorable. It is also right down the road from the California Blue Line stop.

The Chicago Diner: A vegan restaurant needed to make the list! This one is super popular! There are a couple locations, but I have only ever been to the one off the California stop (clearly lots of good spots at this stop). It has so many options for meals (tacos, country fried “steak”, burgers, and more), appetizers, and desserts. I also love the neon sign there.

Todos Santos: If you like mezcal, you will love Todos Santos. There is a restaurant upstairs (I have never been) and then Todos Santos is downstairs. The bar has quite a few signature, mezcal drinks. They all come in adorable cups, each being different to identify the type of drink. I have tried a few of them, and they were amazing! This is a 5-10 minute walk from the California stop.eabe6d86-da1c-40f7-a045-7a52d98226c4-1.jpg

Mini Mott: I LOVE Mini Mott. When I am craving a burger (veggie burger of course) and fries, this is what I picture. Mini Mott puts a twist on traditional burgers, sandwiches, fries, and ice cream. The veggie burger is the best veggie burger I have ever had. It is made with jack fruit and I think anyone would love it. You can find Mini Mott by walking a few minutes down Milwaukee from the Logan Square stop.

Young American: This is a newer bar off the Logan Square stop. It has a good vibe to it– neon signs, bar seating, and an area in the corner with more seating. They serve food, but I have only been for drinks. They have some signature cocktails and other drinks made without alcohol (I think a lot of them would taste good as cocktails as well!)

That sums up my Logan Square post! It’s a fun area to check out and fun way to get away from the city! Which place would you want to try the most?

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TRAVEL, weekend

Seattle Trip Recap: Days 2 & 3

Happy Thursday! The long awaited day 2 and day 3 post is finally here (just kidding. I doubt anyone was waiting impatiently for this haha). But nonetheless, it’s here!

Day 2 started out with coffee and bagels at Kaladi Brothers Coffee. We woke up pretty early and decided we should grab a bite to eat before our hike at Mount Rainier (more details on the “hike” later). The coffee was great and the coffee shop was really nice. There were tons of tables to sit at and dogs so it was great!

We grabbed our rental car at Enterprise and hit the road. Mount Rainier is about 2 hours from Seattle. It doesn’t look like it would take that long, but driving up the winding mountain takes a bit. We had no intentions of doing a serious hike. We didn’t even have any hiking gear or a winter coat with us. We just wanted to do something outdoorsy, and we have gone to a National Park for our anniversary every year, so we couldn’t stop on this trip!

Anyway, we drove up the mountain and eventually made it to the classic National Park sign. We figured that there would be a visitors area or something like that, so we kept going. We drove about 3 minutes further and it was snowing much more. We were surprised that the car was clearing the snow piled up in the center of the lane, and just as we said that, we got stuck. We tried reversing. We tried digging the snow out under car. We weren’t exactly sure what to do.

Luckily, a truck pulled up behind us (our heroes)! Two people walked out (shout out to Peter and Destiny! She also took a lovely picture of Connor and I) and said Peter saw us going up and wondered if we were going to get stuck. Obviously, we looked like silly tourists. He wasn’t able to tow us out, but he knew that there were some “Jeepers” down the mountain a bit who could. We then went down the road a bit to talk to them. It was perfect because they had been towing people out that morning, so they weren’t shocked. They were kind enough to tow us out. It took a few minutes of digging to attach the tow strap (shout out to Connor for that– I just cheered him on and took pictures of him haha), but eventually they were able to tow us back a little. And by a little, I mean a few feet. We were barely stuck. Then they guided us down a bit and we were on our way!

We were so lucky to meet such kind people who were willing to help. It seems like they were used to these types of situations which was nice. They also let us know that the touristy area that we were looking for was in a totally different place. Basically, the moral of the story is that we are going to do more research on where exactly to drive to, and we are going to visit in the summer to avoid snow!

After our adventure at Mount Rainier, we drove back to Capitol Hill. We went straight to dinner since we hadn’t eaten since the bagels. We decided on HoneyHole Sandwiches. It was a sandwich place right next to our Airbnb. The host recommended it. We got a drink (much deserved) and some yummy sandwiches. They really hit the spot. Then we decided ice cream was necessary too, so we went to Molly Moon’s. I really don’t remember what flavor we got, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them. Plus you can try them too!

We planned to go out for drinks, or at least to explore more, but fell right asleep once we got back to our Airbnb.

The next morning we got up super early. We packed up our stuff and got ready to leave our Airbnb. We got an Uber to Moore Coffee. I just had to go again. Plus, I wanted to try the original location. We got lattes and they were even more adorable that the matcha I got before. Connor’s has a cute octopus on it, and mine had a bear. I was so happy because I really wanted a bear. You can’t really request the animal (I tried of course) because it depends on the consistency of the coffee/milk.

After coffee, we wandered to Pike Place Market. We needed to kill some time before meeting up with our friends, Chris and Erica. We walked around a bit and then met up with them. Prior to meeting up, I met an adorable corgi named Bella. She was so cute and had spots like a cow.

We caught up with our friends and then got breakfast at Both Ways Cafe. It was a bit of a drive, but it was worth it. They all got biscuits and gravy, and I got an omelet. We all loved our food! After breakfast, they dropped us off near the light rail. Connor and I grabbed a last minute treat as if we weren’t already stuffed, and then hopped on the train to the airport.

I will spare you all the details from our travel back to Chicago because our trip wasn’t quite as fun at the end. Basically, we ended up sleeping in the Minneapolis airport because there wasn’t room to land in Chicago. It wasn’t the best night of sleep (literally didn’t sleep) but it was sort of fun in a way! I will definitely remember it forever.

Overall, We had the BEST time in Seattle and we can’t wait to go back. We are planning to go back when it’s warmer so we can hit all 3 National Parks near Seattle. I really want to go to Olympic, so hopefully we can go there!

TRAVEL, weekend

Seattle Trip Recap: Day 1

As promised, I am sitting on the train to work writing this post. I think I will split it up into 2 or 3 posts so it’s not super long!

As some of you know, Connor and I went to Seattle, Washington this past weekend. We flew out Friday morning (way too early haha), explored Seattle for 3 days, and flew back late Sunday night (ended up being Monday morning)!

After reaching Seattle on Friday morning, we hopped on the sound rail which goes downtown from the airport. The ticket for a one-way ride is 3 dollars, which isn’t too bad! It took about 30 minutes to get downtown, so I’d say it’s the best way to get there, and a great way to avoid traffic.

We decided to get off at the “West Lake” stop. This stop put us right by Pike Place Market, which was definitely on the list of things we wanted to do. We decided to head to the market, since we couldn’t check into our Airbnb until 3pm. We figured we would do most of our exploring for the day in our backpacks anyway!

Pike Place was super crowded and only got more crowded as the day went on until it closed. We walked through to get an idea of the food options and different vendors. We were really hungry, so we got some little donuts to hold us over from Daily Dozen Doughnuts. They were really yummy. We got a few different flavors to share/try. We also visited the Gum Wall. It was cool to see in real life, but also a little gross as you could imagine haha.

After our “pre-breakfast” we went to Pike Place Chowder. The line for this place was winding down the road. I felt like we were waiting to get into an exclusive event, when we were really just waiting for chowder. Connor got a sampler of a few different chowders and I got the vegan option (coconut & lime). It was so yummy!

I grabbed a matcha latte at the most adorable coffee shop called Moore Coffee. I wish they had one in Chicago because it was amazing. They do latte art in the shape of animals and my matcha had a perfect cat on it! I was really impressed.

We decided to walk everywhere because it was SO nice out. I was shocked that it was so sunny. We really lucked out with the weather. We walked along the water and through the Olympic Sculpture Park. Then we headed toward the Space Needle which was a highlight of the trip. Tickets were about 32 dollars each, but they were so worth it! The line wasn’t too long and the elevator ride up was super fast. Once we were at the top, we walked around, took some photos, and enjoyed the view. I loved that there wasn’t a time limit at the top. We could have stayed up there until 10pm if we wanted, so that’s really cool!

We considered a couple museums by the Space Needle, but we weren’t sure if we really wanted to go to them. We may go next time. I have heard good things about them, so if you are ever in Seattle, they may be worth checking out (The Chihuly Glass Museum and MoPOP). I think you can buy a whole package for all three (including the Space Needle) at a discount too!

We walked around a bunch after the Space Needle. We ended up at “The Sphere” which is part of the Amazon headquarters. Basically they are giant glass domes filled with plants, meeting space, etc. They looked really cool and I would have loved to go in. I am pretty sure there are tours, but we were really worn out, so we were excited to get to our Airbnb to rest up for a bit.

Before checking into our Airbnb, we did stop by MooBar which is a bubble tea shop I follow on Instagram. I initially found them because they had corgi cups for the bubble tea, but those were gone well before we even got to Seattle. The shop was super cute and I love that they had reusable cups for the bubble tea!

We got an Uber to Capitol Hill where we were staying. Our Airbnb was in a perfect location by a bunch of restaurants, shops, and bars. We got settled and then went to the Great Wheel! It was a nice, clear night so I wanted to go on it while we had the chance. It was 14 dollars per person which is a bit pricey. I think 5-10 dollars would be a better price. We did get to go around 4 times instead of 3 which was nice. The view was really nice though, so I’d recommend at least going on it if it’s your first time in Seattle.

We were super hungry by the time we got off the Great Wheel. We grabbed a mac & cheese from Beecher’s Cheese. It was so yummy and I’m glad we ended up trying it. We ended the night with moscow mules at Rachel’s Ginger Beer. I heard a lot of good things about this place, so I really wanted to go. Plus, I love moscow mules. We both got “make your own mules.” I chose vodka with guava ginger beer and Connor went with tequila and pineapple ginger beer!

By the end of the day we were exhausted. We woke up super early that morning, so we figured we could call it a night! I will share more later this week on the rest of our trip!

FAVORITES

A Few Favs

Happy Tuesday! I love Tuesdays because there are new episodes of my favorite podcast, “What We Said.” I thought I’d share a few of my latest favorites with y’all.

1. Glowrecipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask: I love this mask for many reasons. First, it makes my skin feel so soft. It is super low maintenance. I put it on after I shower, sleep with it on, and then wash my face in the morning. Finally, it’s adorable and smells great. The watermelon scent is so fresh, and isn’t too strong where it’s annoying.

2. Fresh orange juice: This might be a favorite because I was sick over the weekend and had SO much orange juice, but it’s so yummy. We don’t make our juice (probably should start), but we grab the fresh squeezed bottles from the produce section at the grocery store. It is way better than the stuff we were getting on the juice aisle.

3. Blackout podcast: I heard ads for this podcast while listening to another podcast. It’s not my typical podcast choice, but I like that is a bit more exciting and tells a story. Also, the audio is really nice. I feel like I’m part of the story. Today when I was listening, I heard people laughing and I thought it was a group down the street. It was actually the podcast haha.

4. Overnight oats: I have been having these for breakfast for a couple months now. I use rolled oats, cinnamon, frozen blueberries, and almond milk in a container over night. In the morning, I heat them up and then add a spoonful of peanut butter! So tasty and so filling! The more blueberries the better in my opinion.

5. Gossip Girl: I started this when I was sick over the weekend. I did absolutely nothing all weekend, so started Gossip Girl. I am almost to season 3 already (that is concerning haha), but the drama in the show is just too funny to me that I can’t stop watching. I think Jenny is my favorite character as of right now.

What are some of your favorites right now? Let me know in the comments, I am always looking for new foods, podcasts, shows, books, activities, etc. to try out!

FOOD, TRAVEL, weekend

Weekend Trip to Detroit

Happy Monday! Changing things up this week with a Monday post. Honestly, I was so tired yesterday when we got home from Detroit, so I knew this post would have to wait a day or two. Anyway, Connor and I ventured to Detroit, Michigan on Saturday morning. We got kind of a late start, but we had a hotel for that night, so it wasn’t a big deal. The drive to Detroit from Chicago is around 4 hours, so it wasn’t too long for a weekend trip!

We arrived in Detroit late afternoon. We drove around the city to get an overview of the downtown and some surrounding areas. We grabbed a coffee at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. I got a matcha and Connor got a Five Spice Latte. Both were yummy, and it seemed like a really nice coffee shop to work at or do homework. It was a decent size shop with a bunch of seating.

We stopped by our hotel (The Trumbell and Porter Hotel) to check in, and then headed to lunch. We decided on SLOWS BAR BQ. I am not typically a BBQ person, but we heard good things about it. There ended up being a vegetarian BBQ sandwich, so that was awesome. I love being able to try new things! I forget the name of Connor’s sandwich, but the bartender recommended it!

After SLOWS, we headed to the river walk. It was such a pretty day out. It was sunny out and relatively warm, so we knew we needed to enjoy the outdoors. We walked along the river down to the carousel and turned back. We saw so many dogs (shout out to Brandy the Newfoundland) and enjoyed the view of Canada across the river.

After our walk, we drove around a bit more to decide what to do next. We opted to head back to our hotel and Uber to get a couple of drinks. A friend recommended The Sugar House for cocktails, and it ended up being awesome. We each tried a couple of drinks, and then went to a late dinner. Since it was like 10pm (we had a super late lunch), we went to Johnny Noodle King to end our day. Of course, I was craving ramen, so that is how we ended up there. It really wasn’t that good, but it was the best option available. They did have a lot of choices on the menu, which I appreciated!

On Sunday, we made a couple stops on our way out of Detroit. First, we got brunch at The Dime Store. The wait was about 30 minutes, but I didn’t mind it. There were so many people waiting so I assumed that was a good sign. We got a perfect seat by the window which I loved– I had a great view of the neon sign (haha). I got the avocado/tomato breakfast sandwich with brussel sprouts. Connor got the corned beef hash. We both loved our meals, especially the brussel sprouts.

After breakfast, we drove about 20 minutes from downtown to The Detroit Cookie Company. This place was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Detroit. I saw it on Instagram and it looked so cute. I was happy to see it was just as adorable in real life. The cookie selection was awesome– so many fun flavors. We got cookies with ingredients like peanut butter, coffee, toffee, cotton candy, raspberry, and more. The actual shop was so cute and decorated perfectly. I loved the mural outside too! And finally, the people who worked there were so kind!

*The girl working asked why we were in Detroit and how we liked it. We told her we had a really nice time and were surprised by how much there was to do. She also brought up how so many people have misconceptions about Detroit, and that more people should visit and give it a chance. I loved that because you really don’t know what a city is like until you visit. Places can change so much in 5 years, even just one!

The Detroit Cookie Company was our last stop. After I took lots of photos of the shop, we headed home. Connor and I are excited to go back in the summer or fall to experience more of what Detroit has to offer.

Have you been to Detroit? If so, what were your favorite things to do there? What other cities should Connor and I visit?

LIFE

Answering My Questions

I am following up my last post where I asked you questions with my own answers to my questions.

1. What are some of your hobbies?

Blogging and traveling. I feel like my hobbies are always changing, but these are two that I will hopefully always continue to do!

2. How long have you been blogging or reading blogs?

I have been blogging for almost 4 years. I have been reading them for about 5! I don’t even know how I got into blogging. I think I randomly decided to start one, but I’m so happy I did!

3. If you could only eat one thing everyday, what would it be?

I would say blueberries or rice with cottage cheese if I am eating at home, or ramen if I have to eat at a restaurant.

4. Favorite vacation spot?

I would say I like Miami the best for vacation. The weather is great, the drinks/food are delicious, and there are fun places to adventure to. I also feel like beaches are the ultimate vacation spot because I always associate beach vacations with relaxation.

5. Dream vacation spot?

Australia or Argentina. I feel like Australia is somewhere I would want to live. I watch so many people on YouTube who live in Australia and it looks awesome. Argentina has been at the top of my list since high school. We talked about it in Spanish class a lot, and that sparked my interest. Hopefully I will get to visit these places someday soon!

6. What is one thing that always makes you happy?

Podcasts– you are probably tired of hearing me go on about podcasts, but they have had such a positive impact on my life.

7. What is your go-to coffee/tea order?

I have a few different ones depending on where I go, but a matcha latte is my usual order! If I’m craving a coffee, I love to get a caramel latte with almond milk.

8. What is your biggest goal right now?

Starting a podcast is my biggest goal right now. I have a mic and ideas, I just need to get all the technical aspects figured out.

9. What motivates you the most?

Being happy and feeling proud of myself.

10. What is your favorite way to relax?

A yummy meal with Connor, my favorite face mask, and a TV show!

11. If you could move anywhere, where would you move?

I would move to Arizona or Utah. I would love to move out West to explore that part of the country more. I feel like nature is something I miss a lot because I live in a big city, so being out West would bring me closer to so many cool places!

12. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

This isn’t necessarily advice, but it’s something my science teacher told me in 7th grade. She told me the world was my oyster. I like to remember that I can do anything I set my mind to. Nothing is impossible and set backs should never keep me from chasing my dreams or reaching my goals. I feel like there are so many other pieces of advice and encouragement that I have received over the years. Maybe I will do a post on that some time!

COLLEGE, FOOD

I Was In Bloomington Less Than 24 Hours & This Is What I Ate

I am back after a week long break!! For some reason, I had so much to say, but couldn’t really figure out how to form it into a blog. This past week went by fast, and was fun, but I have been so tired lately, which was probably part of the reason I didn’t post.

I felt like Connor and I weren’t going to do anything too crazy this weekend, but we ended up driving down to Bloomington, IN on Saturday afternoon (the town where we went to college).

Our plan was to hang out with friends (and we did of course), but when I’m in Bloomington, I like to hit some of my favorite restaurants. We managed to get 3 of our favorite things while we were there because of dinner, late night food, and breakfast. The only thing we didn’t get was coffee, but it wasn’t necessary.

I think Bloomington has some really great restaurants, and is full of foods that remind me of college. I’d say that makes sense considering I spent 4 years there. Anyway, the moment we got to Bloomington, which was around 7pm, we headed to Ami. Ami was always my go-to spot for sushi when I was in college. They had a deal where it was 30% off on Tuesdays, so my friends and I would go a lot.

Connor and I both ordered some rolls and slurped down our miso soup. I got an extra roll to save for later because they are honestly so much cheaper than in Chicago. Between the two of us we got 2 sweet potato rolls, a shiitake roll, an avocado roll, and a spider roll (this was one of Connor’s).

I would categorize our next meal as a late night snack. Pizza X was one of our favorite places to get late night food in college. There were a few others places we would go, but cheesy bread was probably the best. We ordered an extra large cheese bread with a bunch of dipping sauces to all share. I usually just go with the nacho cheese dipping sauce, but I’m also a fan of the garlic sauce. It was so yummy and the perfect way to end the night. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo because it was gone in minutes (haha).

Our last Bloomington meal consisted of smoothie bowls! InBloom Juicery is one of my favorite spots for a healthy treat. The hours were always a little weird in college, but luckily it was open today (Sunday). We got the “Pink Dragon” and the “Blue Majik.” Both we’re so good and so beautiful. I love how bright and fresh the bowls look and taste.

I’d say we did a pretty good job with the food scene on our trip to Bloomington. I always love going back to my favorite restaurants, but I also love seeing what new places pop up, so I can try them, too! I hope everyone had a nice weekend and enjoyed some yummy food!