It’s the second week of January and I’m going to do a list of my favorite things of the month in segments. I want to do at least two a month so that A. they are capable of being done and B. you can get a look inside what I’m up to in my day-to-day life. Let’s hope for the best! This month is filled with a lot baking, tons of recipe making, shifting jobs and beginning a new semester of classes. The goal with all of this? Staying as balanced as possible when I know things have the possibility of turning chaotic quick.
When I start these days filled with class and work, I can be downtown anywhere from 10a.m. to 6p.m. and it’s nothing short of exhausting. Just so I don’t melt down, I decided to buy a gratitude journal last Thursday to record my feelings, thoughts and random happenings throughout the year. After my best friend started to journal daily and told me how therapeutic it was, I figured I might as well give it a try. So far I’m loving it and have written in it every single day. From what I’m grateful for to what my favorite song is of the day (sounds tacky but it helps my memory!), I think it will be a cool thing to look back in a weeks, months or in a year and see how I felt each day and also how I grew.
On top of journaling, I’ve been drinking quite a lot of cold brew and nut milks. I know, this is such a surprise to you all. Together and apart.
I swear I go through more nut milk than any normal dairy-free drinker should. On Friday I woke up from a nap to the most beautiful package — and first of the new year!) — from MALK Organics. Cashew, pecan and almond milk in a large box on my front stoop including this pecan milk cold brew coffee. Organic, cold pressed and fair-trade. A cold brew lover’s DREAM. COME. TRUE. They gave me two of the size pictured above and I finished them both in the span of 24 hours. You can bet I put how grateful I was for that cold brew in my Gratitude Journal.
They are based out of Texas and have only spread to certain surrounding cities in the area but hopefully they will spread to the mid-west soon! Each milk has over 10% fat content per serving which means that you are drinking the real deal: pure nuts blended and pressed. Not 60% additives, 30% water and 10% almonds like most commercial brands *Sigh*. Some flavors contain added maple syrup to sweeten them up which makes them taste like melted ice cream (pecan milk being by far my favorite).
I’ve been wanting to make pancakes for the last week and every morning I’ve opted out but finally, yesterday morning I spent the hour preparing them, topping them and then sitting down to enjoy them. I used 1/2 cup of Simple Mills pancake and waffle mix, 1 tsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp almond milk and 1 egg. Couldn’t have been easier. The pancake mix is made from a combination of coconut sugar, coconut flour and almond flour so it’s pretty substantial and filling (plus nutrient dense – my favorite).
Toppings: strawberries, almond coconut butter and oat clusters (unpictured) paired with my latest favorite drink: 2 shots of Chameleon Cold-brew black coffee with 3/4 cup Malk Organics cashew milk. Heaven!
Sometimes you just need to spend an hour MAKING your breakfast before actually always eating it. It’s a great way to start your morning off with drinking water while you cook, enjoying the process and then when you finally sit down to eat, mindfully doing so.
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day reuniting with my friend May and catching up over our favorite thing… hip and trendy food. This time it was green juice and avocado toast at Harvest Juicery in the West Loop of Chicago. Located a few blocks down West Lake street, Harvest Juicery is a small juice bar serving up made-to-order superfood smoothies, an array of juices including one with brussels sprouts in it and an assortment of avocado toasts. The aesthetic is a food blogger’s dream: white walls, wooden tables and succulents at every turn.
Only problem? Poor lighting for photos. We experienced this as we took our food onto chairs and multiple counter tops to attempt a good Instagram. We are ridiculous, yes, I know.
But the avocado toast… the juice… AH! Where do I begin?
Whenever May and I go out we often usually get a few savory and sweet things so we can share or we get two savories to split. This time she chose an avocado toast with orange, onion and mint while I picked the pickled beet and bee pollen one. I ended up loving the orange one more than expected! Both were served on a hearty piece of bread from Publican Quality Bread down the street. There really is nothing better than avocado toast on a thick piece of house baked bread. Nothing!
To go with our toasts, we got the same juice: the “Deep Green”. Romaine, Spinach, Parsley, Watercress and Pomegranate. I’ve never had pomegranate (or even seen it for that matter) before in a green juice so this was super exciting! Since this wasn’t a kale or swiss chard juice, it was a little lighter drinking up. I usually tend to chug green juices but with this one, I drank half and saved the rest for later. A nice refuel when I was going home later on the train.
As we headed home on the bus, it was BEYOND freezing. If you haven’t checked the weather in Chicago this week, it’s between 2 and 20º for the first half of this week. Yesterday I chose to wear these new jeans I bought as it was 10º out. Mistakes, mistakes. To warm up, May and I thought we’d try the goat milk latte at the Little Goat Diner. This was the first dairy latte I’ve had in my life and I’m proud of myself for even attempting to drink something with goat milk. I’ve heard numerous people say it’s easier to digest than cow’s so I thought why not take a chance?
May and I are both almond milk latte go-ers so it was definitely stepping out of our comfort zones. Unfortunately they were way too creamy for both of us but I’d say A for effort is what matters most!
All in all, I’d say this weekend was phenomenal and so nice to rest and not do much except shop, sleep and meet up with May. Sometimes that’s all ya need. Oh and the occasional recipe making here and there!
A few more of my favorite things so far this month…
- This jacket I purchased for HALF off. $120 jacket for $60? In dark olive? Gimme.
2. These 5-ingredient Salmon meatballs from my friend, Rachel Mansfield. I love putting salmon in and on everything so this is a must-make!
3. Looking for a workout in your apartment that takes under an hour and leaves you relaxed and energized? I tried Tara Stiles’ yoga for strength and energy last night and LOVED it.
4. These lemon coconut no-bake bites from Hummusapien. The recipe makes 12 but I ended up with about 16-18 which means more for snacking! I’ve been having one or two every morning with my breakfast and even topped my oatmeal with them.
5. Nothing better than yoga inspired graphic tees… Reverance Apparel, I’ve got my eye on you.
I hope everyone has a good second (full) week of January! Stay tuned at the end of the month for what new favorites I’ll be into + a peak into my birthday weekend.
*This post was not sponsored and the links are not affiliated. Thank you for reading Chickpea in the City!*