Life / Uncategorized

5 Books To Read This Summer

June 28, 2016

There are so many good books that have come out recently, it’s almost overwhelming and I always seem to make a reading list that is far too long for the amount that I actually read. I have the best of intentions when making my reading lists, but then I’m disappointed in myself when a year goes by and I’ve only crossed a few books of the list. So, this year, I’m setting appropriate expectations for myself. There are five books that I’m dying to read right now (two of which I’ve already started). And I know that I’ll be able to cross these babies off well before Labor Day. Here’s what I’ll be reading this summer:
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Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It
This year marks the ten year anniversary of the phenomenal book Eat Pray Love. Eat Pray Love is one of my all-time favorites, so I knew I had to pick up this gem in honor of the ten year anniversary. The book is comprised of true stories of people that were inspired to change their lives because of Elizabeth Gilbert’s incredible memoir. I just picked this book up and I’m already enjoying it so much.

51miICppIIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ The Girls
This book has been getting so much hype, I keep seeing reviews everywhere for it. Most of them raving. The story is about a teenager who is drawn to a cult in the 1960s, inspired by Charles Manson. I hear it’s gritty and dark, but also that it’s so good.

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Let It Out
If you read my latest post, you know that I’ve been journaling daily for the past few weeks. It’s been such a help for the busy, anxiety-inducing changes that are happening in my life. Around the time I started journaling, I randomly came across Katie Dalebout’s Podcast. I don’t know exactly why I started listening, or how I found it, but I think it was fate. Katie just wrote a book all about journaling and its benefits. I picked it up last week and I’ve been loving it so far.

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The Nest
Who doesn’t love a story about a dysfunctional family? This book tells the story of the Plumb family. The eldest brother blows the collective inheritance, resulting in the four siblings actually having to communicate with one another after years of not speaking. If you need a book that contains a character you can root for, this might not be for you. But otherwise I hear it’s a page turner.

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One True Loves
Sometimes you just need a good love story. This one is similar to the plot of Cast Away, but the Tom Hanks character comes home right before the love of his life marries another man. I think this one will be a bit cheesy, but a perfect guilty pleasure summer read.

What is on your reading list this summer? I always love to hear what other people are reading! Leave a comment and let me know.

xo, erica

Life

hey, hello. how are you?

June 23, 2016

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Woah. It’s been awhile. How the heck are you? I have been bussssy with a capital B. And I know it’s maybe uncouth to talk about how busy you are, but just let me be that annoying friend for a sec, okay?

Work blew up and a week-long trip to New York was at the center of it all. Shorty after work blew up, life did the same. We’re in the beginning stages of putting together the pieces for our move to Minneapolis. Which I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the blog before. So, SURPRISE! We’re moving! All the emotions are happening over here. Overwhelming excitement for a new adventure but also fear for the unknown. As of right now we don’t know where we’ll be living and I have no idea what I’ll be doing for work. Luckily Sam and I are going to Minnesota this weekend to look at places (I think we have seven apartment tours on Saturday.. holy moly). It’ll feel so nice to cross “find a place to live so you aren’t homeless” off the to-do list.

So, yeah, things are a-changin’ over here. But it’s all good and I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m complaining. Because seriously, how lucky am I to go on an adventure with the person I love most in a fun, new city ? The answer is so lucky.

Along with all these changes unfortunately (for me) comes anxiety. You’d think that I’d have this whole moving thing under control by now, considering I’ve moved to a new city about five times in the past ten years, starting with moving from Vermont to Park City at 16. But even though after that initial move, all the moves I’ve made have been my choice, it doesn’t get any easier. And I’m starting to think that maybe subconsciously I get so anxious about these big changes because I had such a terrible time with the first move and I fear that I’ll have the same experience all over again. Even though I know that’s not possible. The mind, man.. sometimes it’s so hard to control it.

For the past month or so, my anxiety has looked like a lot of different things. It’s looked like extreme sensitivity. It’s looked like wanting to spend a lot of time alone. It’s looked like grinding my teeth so much that I wake up to a jaw that is so stiff and achey.

But something has changed over the past week and it’s kind of so crazy simple that I need to talk about it.

So before the whole “work blew up” bit, back in like March, I was in a really great routine of meditating and journaling. I would wake up about 30 minutes earlier than I normally would every morning and meditate for 15 minutes and write in my journal. Usually jotting down what I’m grateful for and the goals I have for the day. Before bed, I would do the same. I had this routine for about six weeks and I felt so great. My head was clear. My relationship with Sam was better. My relationship with myself was better (eye-roll, I know. But it’s true).

But then, along came the shit storm that was May and June and away went all those good practices. I felt like I had no time to do those healthy things for myself.

But then about a week ago, I decided to get back into my healthy routine. I’ve been meditating and journaling daily and I truly believe that because I take 30 minutes to do these two simple things every day, my mood and headspace is incredibly better. I’m calmer, more understanding, less antsy. And although I am still in the thick of making these huge decisions and life-changes, I feel good. Which is definitely not how I would have described my mood a month ago. And although I may still be busy (aren’t we all) I’m now able to handle it much more gracefully.

It’s wild that when we’re in the midst of so much anxiety we stop doing the simple things that can calm our minds and help us navigate through the change and uncertainty.

So, yeah, that’s basically what’s been going on. I’m hoping that I can update more on here and keep you posted on the move. It feels good to blog, and making the time for things that fill me up is so important. I hope you’re taking the time too! You’re never too busy to do what’s best for your mental health.

xo, erica

main photo via: http://shannonkirsten.blogspot.com/

Decor

5 Home Goods Stores You May Not Know About

May 4, 2016

I think homewares is my favorite thing to shop for, even more than clothing. There’s something so nice about adding a new item to your home. It’s something that you will see and/or use every single day. You can make a space completely your own by adding a few extra goodies.
It’s great.
I have spent a good amount of time online “window” shopping for home goods and over my tenure I’ve compiled a list of go-to places for inspiration. These 5 stores are a bit more under the radar, so I thought I’d share them with you and show you a few of my favorite things that they sell.

BABA SOUKBABA_HOME DECOR

CLEVER SPACES

CLEVER SPACES_HOME DECOR

LEIF

LEIF_HOME DECOR

CONNECTED GOODS

CONNECTED_HOME DECOR

HESBY

HESBY_HOME DECOR

 

Where are some of your favorite shops for home goods? I always love to know!

xox, E

fashion

Sweet Swimmers

April 28, 2016

Chicago is playing a funny prank on us this week. As I write this summer-inspired post, it’s 45 degrees and rainy. Just last weekend Sam and I were patio brunching in shorts! Not cool, Chi. Next week is May, and this weather just can’t be happening in May.

Anyways, I hope that it’s warm where you are. And I hope you’re starting to think about summer clothes. I can’t stop looking at all the swimsuits online. I haven’t bought a new suit in a while (because you don’t really need a new suit every year when you live in landlocked states) but this year I might have to make a swim purchase, because there are SO MANY GOOD ONES. Here are just a few of the many faves I’ve come across recently:

 

SwimsuitsClockwise from the top: coral with black trim // floral one-piece // mint high-rise bottoms // high-neck halter // striped bikini // wild one-piece // scalloped hot pink bottoms // colorful geometric top

Which is your favorite?!

xox, E

travel / Uncategorized

Salt Lake City Guide

April 12, 2016

best places_slc

There are so many things that I miss about Utah. The people, the mountains, HOWIE. It’s not surprising that in addition to my lengthy list of things I miss, multiple restaurants make an appearance over and over again. Both Salt Lake and Park City are jam-packed with amazing places to eat so I thought I would put together a guide to my favorite places to eat in SLC. In an effort to not make this post a mile long, I’ll create a separate post of my favorite Park City joints. Be on the look-out for that soon.
But for now, let’s talk about good ol’ slc. If you’re not from the area, you may not believe me that this place is overflowing with yummy food, but trust me, IT’S THERE. Let me give you the scoop:

RESTAURANTS

RUTH’S DINER (4160 Emigration Canyon Rd) Open for brunch and dinner, but I highly recommend the brunch. The biscuits are to-die-for. If it’s warm, sit in the back courtyard. Sometimes there’s live music.

EVA’S (317 Main St) This might be my very favorite restaurant in all of Salt Lake. It’s tiny and lovely with amazing food. Everything is meant to be shared. Get the parmesan fries.

CAFÉ RIO (all over the place, seriously) Ok, so you may think I’m lame for including a chain in this guide. But COME ON PEOPLE, Café Rio is so good. I crave the sweet pork often. This is a good place if you need a quick lunch. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s so good.

SETTEBELLO (260 200 W) Traditional Italian pizzas. The vibe is good and there’s gelato. So much yum.

MY THAI (1425 S 300 W) Most certainly nothing fancy, but some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had. The panang curry is my favorite.

THE BAYOU (645 State St) Cajun food with an extra long beer list (like hundreds, I’m not kidding). There’s also a pool table in the back, so that’s fun.

BLUE PLATE (2041 S 2100 E) My go-to brunch spot in slc. It’s old school, and diner-y and serves the best comfort brunch food. Perfect for slow (read hungover) mornings.

RED IGUANA (736 W North Temple) The best Mexican food I’ve ever had. It’s always busy, so expect to wait outside, but I promise it’s more than worth it. The Tacos A La Iguana are my fave (with a margarita and guac, naturally).

BRUGES WAFFLES & FRITES (336 W 300 S) Belgian-style waffles and fries. What’s not to love? There are loads of aioli to choose from and the space is tiny and quaint.

COFFEE + BAKERIES

THE ROSE ESTABLISHMENT (235 400 W) Everything about this place is ideal, from the amazing space to the delicious coffee. I wish I could spend hours here on my laptop, people watching and drinking a rose latte. You must go here.

EVA’S BAKERY (155 Main St) The sister space to Eva’s. This French-inspired cafe is perfection. There’s no doubt that you’ll be posting an Instagram during your visit here (it’s that cute).

CARLUCCI’S (314 Broadway) I may be biased since I worked here for a summer, but this bakery is incredible. If you’re lucky enough to get there before the fruit tarts are sold out, get one! But honestly, you’ll be happy with any treat.

SUGARHOUSE COFFEE (1100 East 2011 South) This was my favorite coffee shop to study and stay for hours. It’s comfy and cozy, with delicious drinks. Get the creme brûlée latte. They also have live music some nights.

So, there you have it, my favorite spots in Salt Lake. Utah friends, am I missing any of your favorites? Let me know!

Want more city guides? Check out my other guides here:
Chicago Coffee Guide
Austin City Guide

Want more travel inspo? Check out all my posts on travel here.

Thanks for reading xx Erica

Life

Favorite things from March

March 31, 2016

Can you believe that March is over? 2016 is officially 1/4 of the way through. Holy smokes. I’m so excited for the next few months as it warms up in Chicago! I can’t wait for walks after work and patio eating.
March was pretty good to me. I went home to Park City to visit my favorite family and I discovered a few new favorite things. Let me tell you about them..

4f9c1d6230e0bbc952115c3e027adbbdSome mindful things..
The Mood Cure. My nonfiction book of choice this month. I’ve been enjoying it so much that I’ve been highlighting and detailed taking notes. I spent one Friday evening on the couch with tea and this book and I didn’t even feel one ounce of twenty-something-guilt or FOMO. Oh yeah. It’s that good. Recently I’ve been really interested in how the food we eat affects our moods and emotions. This book dives deep into emotions like anxiety, depression or even just “blahs” and how our eating and drinking habits could be a culprit to our bad moods. The Mood Cure describes how we can easily have better days by changing our diets and possibly adding supplements and vitamins. It’s been fascinating, eye-opening and I highly recommend it if you feel like your overall mood could be better and you’re willing to slightly change your eating habits to help your emotions.
Hot water with lemon and mint. I’ve been really enjoying this beverage every morning with my breakfast and at night before I go to bed. It’s not only refreshing and tastes delicious, but it’s also really good for your digestion. It’s also a really soothing way to wake up and get ready for bed. I’ve been craving it in the morning even more so than coffee – and that’s really saying something! You can use any amount of mint and lemon that you’d like, but I usually use two mint leaves and a thinly sliced piece of lemon, cut into fourths.
The True Cost and EverlaneSam and I watched this incredible documentary on Netflix this month called The True Cost. It’s all about where the clothes we buy from “fast fashion” stores are really coming from AND where our clothes actually end up after we donate them. It brought both of us to tears and has made me so much more mindful about how my buying habits affect people all over the world. After watching the documentary, I was inspired to support a company that makes clothes responsibly, enter Everlane. Everlane makes beautiful, minimal clothing that is produced in safe factories. I purchased a white t-shirt and tank top and have been loving them!

d97e583336bea2d4a65a53c78102af15 Some fun things..
Glossier products.
I started a new face care regime this month and have been seriously loving it. I ordered the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer from Glossier and my skin has been thanking me! I have not had a breakout all month and my skin has been oh-so soft. Also, Glossier packaging is so perfect and simple which may have sealed the deal when deciding on the order. I highly recommend these two products! The cleanser is a genius at getting off eye makeup. I haven’t had to use an actual eye makeup remover all month! This baby just takes it all off. huzzah!
United States of Tara. After seeing Room (if you haven’t seen it, stop everything you’re doing and GO SEE IT!) I have been obsessed with Brie Larson and want to watch every single thing that she’s in. My friend JT recommended that I watch United States of Tara, where she plays the daughter of a woman who suffers from multiple personality disorder and it is just incredible. It’s somewhat of an older show (started in 2009) and only had three seasons, but all are on Netflix and you should watch. Trust me! Thank me later. You’re welcome.
How I Met Your Mother. I know I’m like five years behind on this trend, but Sam and I have been binge watching How I Met Your Mother for the past three months and we finally finished! Wanna know how much I cried at the end? Way more than I’m proud to say. I also find myself missing the characters (specifically Marshall and Lily) #couplgoals AM I RIGHT?! It’s such a well written show. I don’t think a show has made me laugh that much since Friends.

There you have it my friends. Some of my very favorite things from March. What have you been loving recently?? Let me know!!

xox, E

// floral images from here + here