Figuring out my “new”

Well yall…I thought April to May was crazy, but the past 5 weeks have been insane and a LOT has happened. Here’s a look at all the travel and little bit of word vomit.

IOWA CITY

May as well start off with a bang right? I had a quick little visit back to Iowa City, for a few small life moments 😉

I mean for starters…I got baptized. HA…just something small right? This was definitely an out of body experience, that I cannot really explain at this point, but felt so blessed to go back to my home church, tell my story & be surrounded by those that started this journey with me.

A marquee stop was a MUST, as well as one of my good friend’s wedding – which was an ABSOLUTE blast. I mean I DANCED…if you know me at weddings, this is not a thing, so it was a pretty BFD.

IDA-WHO?!

As yall know my know, I work for a potato manufacturer, which means their HQ is in Idaho (ironically majority of our potatoes are NOT grown in Idaho…if you want some Potato 101 – hit me up. )

WHO KNEW IDAHO WAS SO BEAUTIFUL?!?! Seriously, these views were insane. Our VP of Marketing drove us around town and showed us some amazing parks that blew my mind.

Downtown Boise had many great foodie choices (again surprised), and we went to Alavita– I opted for a 120 day barrel aged Manhattan & pan seared halibut. We all shared this board, which was an interesting twist on a charcuterie board – you were able to pick meats, cheeses, and jars. My favorite was the salmon rilette jar.


My coworker and I also made Bardenay our stomping ground for the week for some easy apps and cocktails. Another pleasant surprise? They served Fresca…FRESCA! Nobody serves Fresca. Tequila Fresca is now my new favorite drink. Oh and don’t worry, we tried some product - here we feature some seashore puffs with fry sauce…with is another thing that I learned about in idaho.

FRIENDS IN THE CITY  

One of the best parts of this city is the attraction for people to visit, including my best friend Trisha! Last time we were in Chicago together, it was for our Chicago Food Fest, but this was a lot more tame. Not pictured: the belly laughs, the multiple hour long talks sitting on the floor, fitting 3 people in a queen size day bed.

We started at Pops, because this girl doesn’t come to the city without going to Pops. The Bellini Coupette is always a showstopper for the peach gummy. I also tried a new one for me – El Diablo - which featured smoked salt and it was FIRE. This was followed up by a journey to Royal Palms, which was definitely a journey as we were thrown into a blast from the past of oldschool Florida country club. . Where we watched some of our friends play shuffle board and gorged on late-night food truck grilled cheese. DISCLAIMER: Our “late night” was approx. 9:30, with us landing in bed with popcorn by 10. Seriously a night out of my dreams.

Another one of our friends came to the city to join us…and yall I LOVE hosting people. Ask Trisha, I was giddy making this charcuterie board and planning to have 3 people in my solid 450 sq ft apartment. We putzed around town for drinks and ended up at Barrio. I was trying to be “healthy” and ordered a salad…little did I know it would be larger than my face. But don’t you worry, I did not disappoint and cleaned my plate - and let me tell you it was amazing, the chicken was the showstopper. We ended the night at the Roof on theWit for a cocktail and late night views. We were a little out of place in our leggings while everyone started rolling in with their go-to club dresses.

BRUNCH BUDDY

Do you ever meet somebody online and think…why aren’t we friends?! Well that was the story for me and my friend, Kelsie. She lives in the city and once I moved here we knew we had to meet up, so we have decided to take the city one brunch spot at a time.

We have only marked two places on our list, but we have a loooong way to go. First was Whisk, where the whole restaurant is dedicated to Ron Swanson and let me tell you….I am here for it. The second was Princi, which I guess is a Starbucks Reserve…but yall, let me tell you about the za’s. You walk in and there is a whole counter of endless focaccia style pizzas. Dead. Done. Goodbye.

DISCLAIMER: From here on out is a bit of a word vomit. If you are only interested in the food and don’t really care (don’t blame ya) then I’d recommend to skip to the Recipe Roundup for June.

CHICAGO, COFFEE & CONFESSIONS.

I don’t know if y’all know, but this is a pretty-cool city. I will confess this hasn’t been the easiest transition, but also hasn’t been the hardest. I didn’t realize how much of a routine I had in Iowa City, until it was taken away. Once the moving high and miscellaneous travel died down, I realized how alone I was. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a cry for help – its just an adjustment. I have people in Chicago. I have a good group that I know I can call if I want to do anything or need anything. The only thing is I had MY people in IC…the ones where you show up unannounced or sometimes “doing something” is watching Netflix. It has pushed me to grow so much and to be so much more comfortable with myself and EXPLORE! Lucky me, I am in one of the best cities to explore. I have been able to get out and just do what feels good to me at that moment.

One of those things is trying new coffee place every week. So far I have tried Hero – a small little joint in an alleyway, Fairgrounds – this is in the bottom of the infamous Cindys sports club building, fun hipster vibe; and my favorite so far, Groundswell – a spot in the West Loop that serves a golden milk turmeric latte, which is apparently my new jam

This city has so much more to offer than I ever thought. One is night time views at the Riverwalk (having a drink in hand doesn’t hurt), where you just happen to run into a friend from middle school church. Or even going to a concert…BY MYSELF. I was looking to see what events were happening to avoid traffic and saw that Jimmy Eat World & Third Eye Blind were performing close to me. After debating all day, I said screw it, bought a ticket and ventured out. It was GREAT (minus the 2 hour delay due to weather). Lastly, but definitely not least…I have been running. Now if you know me, you know that is practically a cardinal sin – but after 12 hours of being inside an office/car the fresh air has been calling my name. And I have been pretty impressed with my distance if I do say so myself.

GOD IS GOOD

That’s the facts of it all isn’t it? As I continued my church shopping, I thought it would be a good idea to do a “double-header” day going to two services back to back. I felt so good about my dedication to finding my new “home”, and then Chris Durso dropped some (truth) BOMBS at Oasis as he was the guest pastor that day. He preached on Student vs. Scavenger - how so many of us are scavenging for someone/somewhere to get A word rather than going to THE word. It really opened my eyes how I have been “scavenging” for a new home. I have let my heart settle at Oasis and as soon as I did that I have made a few small connections that make a community seem very hopeful.

I am just thankful for my walk in faith right now – I would have never thought in a million years that Wednesday Night prayer meetings and Sunday mornings would be my highlights of the week. I always leave on such a high and am trying to stay within that feeling everyday. To live in the scope that “comfort is not a solution to seek; rather, it is a by-product we’ll reap when we stay close to the Lord.”  Another piece of this faith journey has been sharing my story and how much I have realized that touches over people. With that, I wanted to hear more on other people’s stories and lives. I love talking about food, fitness, and faith and so I decided to start a podcast about all my favorite F WORDS! But don’t worry, I am not losing the slicebaby appeal – so I introduce you to SLICE UP YOUR LIFE. I have only started to dabble, but look forward to talking to more people and hopefully touching more lives.

Check out episodes – HERE or search Slice up your life on apple podcast.
WANT SOME RECIPES? CHECK OUT THE JUNE ROUNDUP

July, I’m not sure I am ready for you, but there’s no turning back now.