DOUBLE WHAMMY

I’m not quite sure who pressed the fast forward button on my life, but I’d like them to SLOW IT BACK DOWN.
I swear I was just unpacking, wearing jean shorts, and trying to figure it all out. Now, I’m living on the go, bundled in multiple layers (and beanies!)…and still trying to figure it all out.

August and September were FULL of old & new - friends, food, experiences, and more!

FOOD THINGS

I know the debate in chicago is always about deep dish - I did try gino’s east - I still am not the biggest deep dish fan, but it was pretty damn good!
Another place I always hear about is big star - this queso fondido - oh boy is good (although I would still prefer la vecina’s)
atwood - cute little place off of michigan, I without a doubt need these plates in my life & my crab cake sandwich has me itching to book a flight to the east coast.

coffee shops consistently steal my heart -

  • two zero three - trendy little spot in the bottom of the virgin hotels

  • sparrow coffee - a naperville spot with homemade syrups and amazing outdoor seating

  • sawada - ah, this place is home to me. the black camo latte is a must try - hojicha tea, a green tea roasted over charcoal, as the base along with espresso

  • the cutest little sign in a glenview starbys

this is just a glimpse of the homemade goods -

  • avo breaky toast with farmer’s market tomatoes & sourdough

  • veggie bowls - literally every meal at home

  • granola - essentially just an avenue to make your apartment smell amazing

ALL ACCESS > ALCOHOL

although football has been a huge part of my life the past 5 years…i’m not the biggest football fan. so heading back to iowa city for the home opener, was a little anticlimactic. not only were majority of my friends working the game, i am used to having all of the access and i have literally no access. don’t get me wrong it was greaat to see everyone (especially my nuggets), but I’ll take all access over tailgating anyday.

also, I’ll never pass up a time to get all the goods iowa city has to offer - mainly marquee.

  • stracciatella - now if you’re a newb to the blog, you don’t know that this is god’s gift to earth in form of carbs & cheese

  • salad - its an obligatory order…I’m obsessed with the pickled onions

  • CRUDO - (the one with greens) - parmigiano, caciocavallo, garlic, back pepper, arugula salad, prosciutto

    • Insanely fresh tasting, the caciocavallo was the main flavor profile for me

  • Boop There It Is - Garlic, basil, spinach, tomato, caciocavallo, pecorino, ricotta salata, lemon

    • I literally could eat this za every single day, simple enough but the flavors compliment each other perfectly.

the new kid on the block (literally) is 400 rabbits - a speakeasy in the back of La vecina. The production of the craft cocktails are seriously impressive.

my last mandatory stop while heading out of town is dash coffee - always a little sassy.

TIME FRIES BY

As yall know by now - MY NEW JOB IS working for a french fry company. something that they put on for all the zones was a potato iq …yes an entire trip based on potatoes.

we learned about our generations of fries, all about our plants, and had a cook-off. And yes, my team won. I had the opportunity to put faces to names and meet a lot of new people - some that I get to call friends!

we were also insanely spoiled on this trip. one night we were at a beautiful vineyard - with honestly one of the best meal's I’ve had. another night, we rented out a wood fired pizza place and were wined & dined all night long. also, let’s please look at this view I had every morning.

FRIEND THINGS

so thankful to be in a location that lets me see some of my favs - casual catchups in iowa city, all of the sporting events with my bestie’s fam, and cheering on the hawks!

finding friends is such an interesting thing - how do you even find them? thankfully there have been a couple avenues to explore & engage in some pretty awesome peeps.

mutual friend introduction that ended in an absolutely amazing spread on the rooftop.
Church friends that start at a coffee shop and end with whiskey & the deepest most meaningful conversations.
was fortunate enough to see a super talented girl sing & praise in worship.
lastly, but not least - a friendship that i’ve been super thankful for. not only is my friend awesome, but her fiance slays the kitchen. they also have some pretty bomb friends that are always down for a game night….pizza & laughs. count me in.

IOWA CITY IN THE CITY

One of the perks of living in a major city is that the big headliners come to Chicago to perform. Now two of my best friends are BIG JoBros fans. Yes…the Jonas Brothers. Although I only knew about 5 songs, I can’t deny the bros put on one hell of a concert and it was an amazing night.

The more important thing is the food…We tried out the newest place on the riverwalk - Portofino. The view is amazing, the ambiance screams Italy, and we all know I don’t stray from pizza, bubbles & bourbon.

  • Portofino spritz - grapefruit, prosecco

  • Focaccia di Stefano - Thin, Crispy Sheets Of Ligurian Focaccia Stuffed With Stracchino Cheese

    • Take what you think of focaccia and throw it out the window - this is like the best cheesy cracker you’ll ever have

  • Burrata Diavolo - Spicy Tomato Sauce, Imported Burrata, Mama Lil's Peppers, Prosciutto

    • This was spiccccy - the flavors were on point, but I could have used a little bit more burrata to calm down the spice. And I mean, who doesn’t want more cheese?

  • Due Funghi - Roasted Mushrooms, Mozzarella, Porcini Crema

    • I LOVE MUSHROOMS! I can’t fully explain the flavors of this za, but my mouth just started salivating if that tells you anything at all.

  • WTF: whiskey tango foxtrot - buffalo trace bourbon, lemon, grapefruit, amaro

    • Who doesn’t love a drink called WTF?

FALLING IN LOVE

now, I’ll be honest - this transition has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. i’ve tried to take this fear that I’ve had moving to a new place and just thrust all of my courage into this huge place with endless opportunities.

I think moving to a new city, I thought I would be a new person. All though, running through the city can be a GREAT stress reliever after a long day at work…the verdict is still out - I am NOT a runner…But I DID run a 5k. Granted, they did hand out mini Stan’s donuts throughout the race and a full size circle of heaven post race…but I still did it.

One of the best things about this city is the markets & fairs everywhere. I am definitely not numb to the fact that I am so blessed to have all of these beautiful gems at my fingertips. Whether that be the farmer’s market full of the freshest goodies or art fairs where people’s talents are on full display. I have the hardest time at the fairs, I literally want to buy everything - so I grab all the business cards and look ‘em up later.

The city has also opened up SO much opportunity for me. For one, I love walking everywhere that I can. Your eyes are opened up to so many more things and even silly things (like this pizza tootsie roll pop that I, of course had to stop and take a picture of).
One thing that I am very grateful I stumbled upon is Breakthrough - is an organization that focuses on a radius on the west side of Chicago. I started with a simple block party and have transitioned into 8th grade girls mentoring…let me tell you, I’m learning a LOT.
Lastly, is the start of O/Groups - which are the small groups with my church, Oasis. It is such a blessing to have a young community to meet up and be vulnerable and grow with.

Also, can we talk about these VIEWS?!

FAITH THINGS

This city has made me grow in so many ways, but thankfully it has always had me grow in my faith. to really let go & trust. I’m by no means great all the time, but the more I dive in - the more I feel at peace.

This place I call home, oasis is such a strong community - gah I love them.
all of the doodles as I journey my way through the bible.
witnessed about 100 high schoolers get dunked as they declared their faith for jesus - I barely know the kids, however I couldn’t help the tears streaming down my face as I was able to see all of this happen in front of my eyes.

when all else fails - buy New necklaces, get in some family time, read inspiring quotes & eat ice cream cones.