This week has been one big whirlwind of work, getting back into workouts and yoga, doing the hardest barre of my life and exploring the gorgeous views of Chicago. I also had time to cook dinner for my friend and I, explore Millennium Park and browse online for new Sam Edelman boots that I’m dying (and cannot wait) to buy next week.
The exciting life of a young food blogger.
A few things I’ve been loving lately that have been powering me through and giving me energy and/or bringing happiness to my day-to-day life this week are things I think everyone should consider.
1. Long walks: Sometimes all you need is a long walk to clear your mind rather than having your heart-rate skyrocket in a barre/yoga sculpt class (like I do) or running 15 miles on a treadmill. The other day I planned on going to a yoga sculpt class but I had a large lunch so I figured I would skip it and instead walk Lakeshore Drive, give my mom a phone call and be relaxed, at ease. It was one of the best decisions I made all week, especially since I ended up walking about 7 miles total (towards downtown and then back home) which made me feel preeeetty dang good. I ended that night with a slow calming yoga class at CorePower and I felt truly invigorated.
Then today I ended up doing a light jog with my friend, Emma, down Lakeshore Drive and back through the neighborhood we live in. Despite the humidity and my glowing sunburn, my no-work Sunday has felt amazing. Nothing better than releasing endorphins!
2. Making dinner with friends/meal prepping: Who doesn’t love going out to dinner with friends? I sure am a sucker for it and my money can fly through the door very quickly once I set a date with a friend. However, this week I planned on making one of my favorite recipes from food blogger Alexis Joseph (known as Hummusapien) instead of buying a meal out. Alexis’ vegan lentil and kale enchiladas with salsa verde sauce are the perfect idea of a good homemade dinner. I haven’t made them since last summer but they made great leftovers, especially for before/after work. Instead of using salsa verde and jalapeño as the recipe naturally calls for, I used mild salsa from Whole Foods and I also added in a few mushrooms to the mixture. These enchiladas blew my friend away which made me very pleased! Please check out Hummusapien if you have not already because all of her recipes are rather cheap, always healthy and very easy.
Another night this past week I ended up making baked wild salmon on top of a bed of slightly sautéed zucchini noodles in coconut oil with roasted brussels sprouts and beets. I topped it off with hemp seeds just for decoration!
3. Store-bought veggie burgers… ON SALE!: If you don’t know by now, many veggie burgers in the frozen aisle at grocery stores are packed with processed soy ingredients. Therefore, it is SO much easier to make your own at home and fairly simply! There are millions of recipes online for black bean burgers, ones with brown rice, corn, zucchini, pretty much any type of vegetable you could name… there’s a burger for it.
I usually stick to my favorite Hilary’s or Engine2 because not only are they sturdy and don’t fall apart but they have a short list of ingredients and they taste absolutely terrific! But sometimes they are not always the cheapest and most convenient… but I was craving a decent veggie burger, especially one to quickly whip up after a long day of work. I stopped into Whole Foods for a hot sec the other day during work and these Dr. Praeger’s burgers caught my attention!
I bought the Kale ones which are gluten-free, made with kale, quinoa, brown rice and a variety of vegetables. The only downside is I cooked it for 10 minutes (which was recommended) and it was VERY flimsy… I had to delicately put it on a spatula without it turning into a mush of veggie puree! But on the plus side, it was amazing in between toast. Not to mention, there are 4 in a box and they were on sale for $3! That’s what I call joyful news.
4. Summer dresses and drinks: There’s nothing more that I love than fun summer dresses! Last year you can ask all of my closest friends, I bought way way too many flowy floral dresses at Forever 21. They were all I wore to work or downtown to grab dinner with friends. The only problem is the length of their dresses is often way too short and when they wash, they shrink… resulting in a dress that barely covers my butt! No bueno.
This year, my best friend recommended American Eagle for t-shirt dresses and so far I have bought two. I’m ob-sesssssed! They are so silky, so soft and SO comfortable. Affordable as well! This dress here cost me $35. Definitely not bad compared to ones I’ve seen from J.Crew or Madewell running past $80. However, I am extremely tempted to purchase more and more! I will keep you posted on the ones I add to my closet this season.
To pair with fun outfits this spring and summer, I love grabbing fun drinks such as (almond milk) matcha green tea lattes or iced cold brews. I’ve spoken about my obsession with cold brew iced coffee in previous posts but I have always had my heart set on matcha lattes. If you’ve never tasted one, I can describe them best as tasting like melted vanilla ice cream… dyed green with matcha powder. Sounds very delicious, I’m sure. They’re the ONE sweet drink I can handle. They are perfect for summer brunches! I grabbed mine from Summer House Santa Monica but Argo Tea and Peet’s Coffee have exceptional ones as well. Or really any funky hipster coffee place you can find.
5. Watercolor artwork and designs: Lastly, something I really LOVED this week was a possible logo my best friend from Cleveland is designing for me. I’m hoping to have more vegetables or something with a skyline added to it but this is just a little something she whipped up for me as a possibility.
She is an extremely talented artist and creates typography designs/watercolor pieces in her spare time and decided to give a “chickpea in the city” logo a whirl. What do ya think!?
What were you loving this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Have a happy and sunny (hopefully less humid) Sunday!