So suddenly August is going to be here literally in the blink of an eye. Why does summer seem to fly by faster every year? I feel as though yesterday I was taking my last final exam and working my first shift at Whole Foods (May). Now I’m almost three months in! Wooo!
It’s been a long and hot summer, that’s for sure. Heat wave anyone? Not about it. It’s been filled with endless hours of work, staying up until 4a.m. and regretting it the next morning or waking up at 6a.m. for yoga and loving every minute of that Lake Michigan sunrise. I’ve been snapping photos for my blog and Instagram, doing different little projects here and there, and having multiple people visit me – including one of my best friends from high school, Lylah.
Lylah and I met when we were 14 and have been best friends since. Going strong for 7 years now! Within the past 6 months we’ve gotten closer than ever, which is why she finally decided to come visit me in Chicago. If I could even tell you how excited I was I would but I can’t because well, I was just too freaking excited.
She got in on Friday in the late afternoon and shortly after, we headed to Wicker Park’s newest spot, Mahalo, for drinks and dinner. I was super enthusiastic on bringing Lylah here since I knew they’d have wonderful hospitality and even better piña coladas. Who can ignore a patio decked out with string lights and surfboards? Cuuuuute.
P.s. If you didn’t see on Instagram/Snapchat already, I got my hair balyaged last week! Being blonde is pretty weird. But awesome. I love it.
Ever since I was little (about 7 or 8 years old) and my family went on vacations to Florida, I’ve been getting virgin piña coladas. Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with smoothies now-a-days. The frozen texture and creaminess from the coconuts – ugh, I LOVE. But anyhoo, this one (obviously) had rum in it and was the perfect way to start the 95º weekend. You better believe we used any chance we had to be in air conditioning.
While the drink was topped with shredded coconut and had me falling in love, I was not so enticed by the food – my coconut shrimp was fried to the brim and my tuna poke was very dry but both were for sure beautifully presented. Mahalo is definitely one of those aesthetics/drinks places over quality food but if that’s what you’re looking for (on top of a beautiful rooftop hang with friends) – hit it up as soon as you can before summer ends.
On Saturday we ended up heading to one of my top breakfast spots in Chicago’s West Loop – The Allis. If you’re looking for a breakfast joint that has a swanky interior and no added junk to their dishes, this is the go-to. I always get their Allis Breakfast plate ($15) that has multi-grain toast, fresh tomatoes, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs and avocado. Seriously what more could you possibly need!?
Lylah got avocado toast with a side of bacon and we’re pretty convinced they forked out a whole avocado for her. So many chunks. 90% avocado, 10% toast.
We then stopped by one of my favorite coffee shops in the city, La Colombe, so I could pick up an organic iced green tea. Classic Lylah ran across the street to get Starbucks instead. I tried!
After breakfast/lunch/brunch/whatever it was, we took an Uber to Restoration Hardware in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place has been the talk of the town for what seems like months yet I had never been. It’s known for the classic Instagram everyone posts of their middle room that looks like a bright greenhouse. Chandaliers hang from the ceiling, waterfalls are everywhere you look and it pretty much is just a huge museum of fancy furniture you can browse (and even buy if you’re not a 21 year old college kid).
Lylah and I ended up sitting on half of the beds, taking photos of all of the mirrors and succulents and getting lost on their balcony. I swear I could sit on those couches with the fur throws for hours.
As for yesterday, we spent most of the day hanging out inside with my apartment’s air conditioning until we grabbed lunch at one of the hip health spots in Lakeview – Left Coast Food + Juice. Forever convinced this place is the closest thing to California and NYC that Chicago will ever get until True Food Kitchen and Sweetgreen get here at the end of the year (!!!!).
Because I was craving Mexican food (naturally, what a surprise) and also wanted something out of the norm, I ordered the tofu toastadas which to be honest with you were the best little bite of the weekend. They were smaller than expected but that always ends up being better than having some monstrous portion!
These round pockets of happiness had scrambled tofu, salsa, avo slices, black beans and a greek yogurt drizzle. I want to try to recreate them at home because I was in heaven.
We headed back home for a bit before our dinner at Ema (the salmon kebabs and frozen greek yogurt with olive oil drizzle changed my life) in River North. It was a 10/10 and rather affordable. I want to go back ASAP.
Clearly as you can tell we pretty much hit all of the main neighborhoods. I guess we can thank Uber for that. I can honestly admit I have never Uber’d more in my life than in the last 72 hours. I’m a little ashamed but very grateful a.) Uber pool exists and b.) They were all air conditioned.
All in all, it was a pretty successful end to July. As for this week, I’m taking some time off from working at Whole Foods to dedicate time + energy to my blog and all of my workouts I’ve been hitting early in the AM at Studio Three. I’ll be taking over their Instagram until Wednesday so check it out if you haven’t noticed it already.
It’s not sponsored or anything, I just genuinely am obsessed and in love with their community/classes/space… real talk.
Happy Monday, chickpeas!