Another Monday morning and I’m in bed drinking my usual go-to coffee, thinking about how I don’t remember the last time I blogged on a Monday… but here I am. I’m usually heading to class at this time but since it’s Easter break, I’m off today (from school, that is). I’m heading into work soon and then hitting up a Barry’s Bootcamp class led by my friend Kate (seriously if you haven’t taken her class OR a class at Barry’s yet, do yourself a favor and go) and I am over the moon excited.
I love life update posts because I can share with you guys what I’ve been up to in the past few days or weeks, my favorite things in the food/wellness world and overall random little notes.
The last week has been a busy one for sure, especially due to the fact I’m graduating in 24 days… I truly cannot believe it. Every day seems to be flyyyying by at the speed of light. Most days are the same in terms of going to a spin or yoga class, heading to class, and doing all of my assignments last minute. Oops. It’s two percent terrifying.
But despite the chaos of life, it’s been going pretty well. There is so much to look forward to in the next few days, weeks and just in general this summer.
If you guys read my post a few weeks back about SoulCycle, I’ve been going 3-4x a week and I’m so hooked. The view of the river from above was after walking home from a class last Monday. It was Hip Hop Monday – a themed class SoulCycle does weekly – that was one of the best classes I’ve been to in the past three months. Not only was I front row so the energy was magnetic but the last song was “We Found Love” by Rihanna which always reminds me of high school… anyone else? So good.
And in case you missed it, SoulCycle came out with this crazy inspirational video two weeks ago and the song in it has been played on repeat on my Spotify. And my favorite instructor even played it a few times in class – what a rush!
After a SoulCycle class last Wednesday, I hit up one of my favorite grab-and-go meal spots in the city: Kitchfix. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m pretty much addicted to Kitchfix for their readily available healthy meals that are all soy, dairy and gluten-free AND paleo. Their beef burger with pickles and homemade ketchup truly changes my life for the better.
But in between a workout and class I just wanted something light so I picked up this smoothie… wow. It was only $7 (cheapest in the city for high quality) and had turmeric, ginger, coconut milk, banana, Vital Proteins collagen peptides and orange. Dreaaaaamy.
On Friday my dad came into town for Easter weekend and whenever he’s here I always make sure to take him to all of my favorite restaurants. He loves a good Chicago meal and cocktail but I prefer going to the hidden gems instead of the same staples everyone goes to.
First up, we dined at Blue Door Kitchen in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. I am freaking OBSESSED with this place, you guys. Not only is it a quiet, intimate setting but their patio is gorgeous in the summer, it reminds me of something straight out of South Carolina (lol I have never even been there but one can imagine) and their menu items are super simple. It’s a great option for those with different dietary preferences as well.
My dad order the trout with kale, a yogurt sauce, brown rice and lentils while I had their brussels sprout and kale salad with bacon, a maple tahini dressing and salmon.
My cocktail was called Spring Fling and consisted of gin, vodka, lime, ginger, cucumber. They used to have this cocktail called the Basil Gimlet which was low-key the best cocktail (in my opinion) in Chicago that was just gin and basil. This one was maybe a 7/10. I always get thrown off when my drinks are neon colors… anyone else feel this way? Let me know!
Saturday was filled with shopping and typical my dad never eats lunch… only breakfast and dinner. Such a weirdo. But I cannot go up and down Michigan Avenue without proper nutrition so you know… sweetgreen had to happen. I think I go to sweetgreen 2x a week minimum, no joke. I think I should have a separate credit card just for them.
I usually 9x out of 10 order a “make your own” and this was kale, avocado, roasted beets, salmon, spicy broccoli, tomatoes and their spicy cashew dressing. Mint chamomile iced tea on the side, I would one hundred and ten percent recommend.
Saturday night dinner we went to Nellcôte in the West Loop which I’m obsessed with for a fine dining experience. They use local produce and create their own pasta and breads in their basement… from scratch.
I ordered the brussels sprouts and carrots as an appetizer and they were unreal. The carrots were mixed with dates and the brussels were tossed in a stone ground mustard and chili glaze. Unreal.
The real deal though was my duck entree. I always get duck on special occasions and ever since my 16th birthday, it is one of my favorite “splurge” meals (and my splurge I mean money wise). This one in particular had a butternut squash puree with pomegranate seeds and brussels sprouts. So delicious on every level.
As for other little fun tidbits:
- I bought this dress on Saturday and I cannot wait to wear it all over the place. Coffee dates, work, classes, meetings… you name it. I can’t get enough of this brand and I love their frequent sales!
- This is my first summer wearing contacts… I can’t believe it. So I’m taking full advantage and buying ALL of the sunglasses for under $100. For those who wear glasses 24-7, you’ll know prescription glasses can be anywhere from $200 to $600… it’s the worst. I’m loving these!
- Tacos are my weekly staple. Chicken, veggie, shrimp, salmon… you name the taco, I’m down for it. Since I’ve been eating more paleo and grain-free, these are one of my indulgent purchases. Nothing but the best!
- You know how humans are mostly water? I’m convinced I’m mostly coffee. But I refuse to drink it black so that’s where these dairy-free creamers come in handy. I’m HOOKED.
- My recent athletic apparel purchases included this striped sports bra and this high-support gray and white one. Both are phenomenal for spin and don’t require pads! #Blessed.
Final exams, projects and graduation are drawing near but I have some exciting news to share with you guys in the coming weeks including how I’ll be working this summer part-time blogging and part-time at Simple Mills… and doing many more podcasts with Actually Adultish!
I can’t wait for what’s to come. But until then… I think I need another cup of coffee.
Happiest of Mondays to all of ya!