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

 

 

fashion

Dresses for Weddings

March 27, 2016

Sam and I have been invited to seven weddings this year. SEVEN! This year seems to be the start of a lot of our friends and family getting married. We love it. But it’s also pretty stressful! None of the weddings we’ve been invited to are here in Chicago, so getting our way to every single one is becoming challenging. Impossible really. BUT I love love and love weddings, so we’re trying to get to as many as we can.

With many weddings come many fun dresses you get to wear to said weddings! Most of the weddings we’re going to are in the summer, so I’m on the lookout for pretty, summery dresses. Through all my searching I’ve found ten that I’m absolutely in love with. Here they are:

C6262_RD5576_mMadewell ($150)

image1xxl-1

Asos ($85)image4xxl

Asos ($55)image1xxl

Asos ($65)image4xxl-1

Asos ($77)
image4xxl-2

Asos ($128)_10074139

Nordstrom ($98)image4xxl-3

Asos ($411) LOVE, but pricey :( (Similar in white for much less here)38015996_001_bUrban Outfitters ($79)38323069_049_d

Urban Outfitters ($89)

Which is your favorite?

Have you been invited to a bunch of weddings this year too? What are you planning on wearing??

xox, E

food

Let’s Talk About Groceries

March 22, 2016

It’s so interesting to know what other people buy for groceries, what there go-to snacks and meals are for the week. I’m that creep in the grocery line that sneakily glances into other people’s carts to see what they’re buying. Anyone else?

I recently came across this video showing how different people would spend $100 on groceries. It’s fascinating!! Don’t you think? The college student who spends $50 on pizza pockets.. hilarious!! Too real.

Since I’m so interested in this I thought that some of you might be too and might want to know how Sam and I buy groceries for the week.

Usually, we go grocery shopping for the week on Sundays and our go-to place is Trader Joe’s. I make a very detailed list (#Virgo) of the food we need for the week. I plan it on 5 days of breakfast for both of us, 5 days of lunches for both of us and about 4 nights for dinner (we usually go on a date night one day during the week and eat out on Friday and Saturday). Without fail, our grocery total usually ends up being between $65-$75.

Here are the usual suspects on our grocery lists (we are creatures of habit and typically eat the same meals from week to week, changing it up occasionally for dinners):a6832de0-1d57-4cd1-95c7-9ec11710f343

PRODUCE:
Bananas
Frozen fuit (for smoothies)
Broccoli
Cauliflower (we love roasting these with garlic + olive oil)
Green beans
Spinach/some sort of leafy green (perfect for smoothies + salads for lunch)
Beets (my fave! Sam, not so much)
avocado (we make guacamole at least once a week)
lime
lemon (I’m so into lemon + hot water right now)
Sweet potatoes
apples
grapes
Black beans

MEAT/DAIRY:
Chicken breasts (I usually make shredded chicken in the crock pot every week)
Sausage (we love the spicy Andouille sausage from TJs)
Ground turkey
Eggs
Soy milk
Cheddar cheese (Unexpected Cheddar from TJs is the best)
Soy creamer (my fave for coffee)

OTHER:
Some type of cereal or oatmeal (gltuen-free, usually)
Gluten-free crackers
Tortilla chips
Corn tortillas
Pico di gallo
Almonds
Cashews
Quinoa
Lara Bars (my favorite afternoon treat)5c08f541-48f5-412f-9def-6241e2ad821f

Obviously this changes a bit from week to week, but the list above are our go-to’s! You also might notice that most everything we buy is gluten-free. This is a relatively new thing. I’m trying to eat less gluten to see if it helps with my energy and overall mood. I’ve been inspired to change my eating habits thanks to this INCREDIBLE book I’m reading, The Mood Cure. I’m going to talk more in-detail about the book soon!

The good thing about Trader Joe’s is that there are SO MANY gluten-free items, and they make them very clear on the packaging. They also have a list of all their gluten-free options on their website.

So tell me, are you obsessed with other people’s weekly grocery shopping too?! What are your staples for the week?

XO, E

Life

Weekend Recap

March 21, 2016

Hi friends. How was your weekend?? I hope it was great and restful and fun. All the good adjectives.

Mine was perfect, here’s why:

SATURDAY. I woke up early on Saturday, which some of you might think is not so great, but I loooove waking up early, especially on the weekends. It adds SO much more time to your weekend. I was up by 7:00. I had a slow, easy morning with some coffee and my new favorite book. Sam and I were to the gym by 9 and done with our workout and off to brunch by 10! It was so nice to be out and about and done with our workout so early.

For brunch, we went to one of our go-to neighborhood spots, Fork and we both had bagel and lox, one of our absolute faves.

After brunch, I had my nails did, because WHOOF did they need it. I love the place I got to get my nails done because they always have Friends playing. Get a manicure whiling watching Friends? Win-Win. I chose a milky-light pink OPI color that I think is super girly and perfect for spring.

Later in the afternoon we headed to Hyde Park, a neighborhood in the South Side that neither of us has explored before. It was a good hike from our apartment (about an hour on the El) but so, so worth it. We walked around the University of Chicago’s campus which was breathtakingly beautiful. the buildings had a Gothic vibe and were covered in vines. Walking around on campus made Sam and I excited about some upcoming changes that we have in the works! Hint Hint. More on that another day!IMG_2094 After walking around we grabbed a much needed coffee at a really cool bike/coffee shopped called Ancien Cycles. It made me want a bike so badly! Specifically one that’s cream with a brown leather seat, like this one. We walked around 53rd street and hit up come cool shops. One of my favorites is Modern Cooperative. A store that has a great mixture of things from local artists and vintage furniture with a mid-century, art deco vibe. It’s real good, friends. IMG_2074IMG_2095 After our shopping escapades we ate at A10. It. Was. Incredible. The vibe of the restaurant was on point and the food was mind blowing. The cocktails were served in the prettiest glasses I’ve ever seen (see photo below) and the menu is packed with so much Italian goodness. Sam ordered the gnocchi and I had Carbonara (my Italian go-to). Both were delicious, but the gnocchi was definitely the show-stopper. I wish there was an A10 on the North Side, because I want this food every week. It’s that good.IMG_2090IMG_2098IMG_2096IMG_2097

After dinner we headed to The Promontory, which was the whole reason we traveled to Hyde Park in the first place. Do you listen to The Moth Podcast? It’s one of my very favorites and The Promontory was hosting a Moth Story Slam, where you listen to people tell short, personal stories. Most of them are hilarious and some heartbreaking, but all are incredibly captivating. The theme for Saturday’s slam was “Progress.” Everyone had such a unique take on the theme. Sam and I loved it. They host these story slams all over the country, so definitely check out the events page to see if there’s a slam coming your way soon.

After the slam (and after multiple cocktails) we headed home and fell asleep with smiles on our faces.

SUNDAY. Always a funky day that I don’t usually love. Often it’s filled with chores and to-dos and I find myself with the Sunday-blues. Do you feel the same?

I think this Sunday was different because we had such a jam-packed Saturday, so I was okay with a Sunday dedicated to getting ready for the week. We had a slow morning with coffee and lots of sunshine coming through our windows. I took my laptop to the coffee shop and enjoyed a chai latte. I grocery shopped, did laundry and other chore-type things that I won’t bore you with.

It was a good balance of fun and organization. A happy medium. Ying and Yang.

Now, tell me about your weekend. What was the best thing that happened? Did you have an amazing meal? Tell me all about it.

Have a great week, friends.