September 28, 2015

Edinburgh Instagram Lately

I am so sorry I have been MIA for the last few weeks!  I knew it would be difficult to keep up with posting while I was abroad but who knew how busy I would be.  Now that classes have started up I have gotten into a routine (kind of...) so I feel totally prepared to get back into the swing of blogging.  So far the abroad experience has been amazing, scary, and adventurous all wrapped up in a pretty package.  I can't wait to share so much more with you all but for now I thought I do a quick Instagram round up of some of the photos of my trip so far!


After one crazy day of travel, losing my luggage, getting my luggage returned but soaking wet, I can officially say I am in Edinburgh! Please be prepared for lots of photos of pretty doors, Harry Potter references, and overall gorgeous scenery!
Caption is pretty self explanatory!  Its actually crazy how long ago this day feels though.  Luckily I have fully recovered and am now on the other side - with clean and dry clothes!


the world is too big to leave unexplored
Arthur's seat is an inactive volcano right on the outskirts of the city.  It isn't a very difficult hike from the top but the views are breathtaking.  On the left side of the photo you can see the Edinburgh Castle!


fairy pools
One weekend my friends and I decided to take a last minute trip up to the Isle of Skye.  I have honestly never seen views as spectacular as I have on this little island.  Everything was so green, and lush, yet still mountainous with gorgeous water views.  It was also the first time I had ever seen mountains and the furtherest North I had ever been which was so exciting!  This photo was taken at the "Fair Pools" which was basically just these amazing waterfalls that created small little pools.  There were so many of them along the hike and up until the mountains you see in the photo.  I plan on doing a full Isle of Skye recap with my must see places soon!


Victoria Street aka Diagon Alley
I warned you there would be a lot of Harry Potter references.  This is the famous Victoria Street where J.K. Rowling based the famous Diagon Alley off of.  I am beyond obsessed with the beautiful colors of all the buildings.  I was so mad that there was an ugly yellow truck in front of the mint colored building but oh well!  Also, if you can't tell, like many streets in Edinburgh, Victoria St. has two levels.  Above all the colored buildings there is another street with restaurants and shops on it.


No. 6
As stated in the first photo, I like pretty doors.  And while this door may be nothing special, I absolutely loved the beautiful bright flowers on either side and the white walls. 

Stay tuned for more study abroad posts and more photos of my adventures!

September 1, 2015

FOMO

This weekend I had the biggest case of FOMO that I think I have ever had in my life.  Seeing social media posts of everyone having fun at parties and getting ready for class was so difficult.  I had a  minor melt down and the insane desire to not study abroad for the semester set in.  All I wanted to do was to hop on a flight back to Boston and start class with all of my friends.  Yesterday was the first day of class for all of my friends at my college.  Yesterday I was still home in Chicago, I ran errands, and did a little shopping.

I leave to go abroad in one week and my level of excitement is on a definite rollercoaster.  One minute I cannot wait before I'm living my life and taking classes in another country.  The next minute I get major anxiety about going to another country where I don't know anyone, where I'm away from all my friends at school who are only growing closer while I'm gone, and I'm away from my family with limited communication.  I know once I get to Scotland I will forget all my fears and anxiety but I know my FOMO will only grow stronger.


I have always been one of those people who gets extremely self conscious when she sees people hanging out together and she wasn't invited.  Now I know while I'm abroad there was an obvious reason why I wasn't invited but it still hurts.  So many questions pass through my mind: Do they even realize I'm not there?  Do they miss me?  What would we be doing if I was there?  What happens when I get back?  Will I feel like I'm missing the jokes and not feel included anymore?

While these thoughts are continuously plaguing me I am trying to stay focused on all the small errands I have to finish and how much fun I am going to have while I'm abroad.  In the meantime I've been trying to think of different ways to help alleviate my insane FOMO and so far the biggest thing I have come up with is to stop relying on social media.  I think when I go abroad I am going to delete my Snapchat and use Facebook way less.  There is no way I could ever put down Instagram but I think the other two are definitely doable.  While it will feel weird to miss out on the funny snaps and all the photos, I think it will be all for the better.  

Its crazy to me how social media is such a strong player in all of our lives.  People always say Facebook is genius because it lets you stay close with people you might have lost touch with along the way.  But maybe it lets you start a little too close.  I don't really care what that gorgeous girl in my Psych 101 class did last weekend yet I feel the desperate need to stalk all of her photos.  I am hoping that when I go abroad,  I can immerse myself more into the Scottish culture.  I will enjoy my time more with the new people I meet instead of worrying so much about what is happening back home.   

If any of you have gone abroad, how did you deal with FOMO?

August 26, 2015

Oxford

I swear nothing beats a pair of jeans and button down.  I think I wear my Ralph Lauren oxford shirts way too often.  I own then in quite a few colors and quite a few sizes too.  Sometimes you want one that is oversized and comfy and other times you need one that is fitted and more tailored.  These are a hands down staple!  

This is an outfit I wore out to dinner the other day.  You could totally rock this look with converse to make it super casual but I bumped it up just a little bit with some stunning BaubleBar earrings and a very subtle red lip.  Also, I am obsessed with d'Orsay flats.  While these look great on, they sadly aren't the comfiest pair ever so if you have any recommendations of the perfect pair please oh please let me know!


Ralph Lauren Oxford //  JBrand Jeans // Sam & Libby Target Flats (old, similar here) // H&M Belt (old, similar here) // Michael Kors Watch // BaubleBar Necklace // BaubleBar Earrings // Tarte Lip Crayon






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August 21, 2015

How I Edit my Instagram Photos

After my recent Ingram roundup, I got quite a few questions about what app and filters I use to edit all my Instagram photos.  I find editing photos for Instagram to be just as fun as taking the photos.  It always amazes me how you can edit one photo so many different ways and make it look like multiple completely different photos.  I also find Instagram trends to be so interesting.  Like why have we gone back to all square photos?  Why did we ever stop using square photos?  Why did we stop adding frames to our photos?


I am always envious of the people who are capable of creating a perfectly curated Instagram theme.  There was a time when I tried to darken my photos like one blogger, grey them out like another, or whiten them like a different one.  There are so many different themes and trends and its important to find one that works with you and your brand.  I learned that I like to take photos of so many different things and that I don't need to stick to a single tone or color.  I can make a theme that fits my feed and my style

However, that being said I do always stick to a routine in the editing process.  I tend to use the app Afterlight and occasionally use the app VSCO Cam.  I first clarify the photo to about 50.  Next is the brightness and contrast and this is totally dependent upon how dimly lit your photo was initially.  I like my photos to be pretty bright but this is totally up to you.  And I only usually up the contrast a little bit, to maybe like 20.  I normally keep the saturation levels at 0 but sometimes will bump it up to about 10-15.  Finally, I up the shadows almost the whole way!  I will usually just stop there but sometimes (if I remember haha!) I will upload the photo to VSCO and add the C1 filter at about a level 6.

And now lastly, the caption.  This is definitely the hardest part of the entire Instagram process.  I never know if I should go serious or funny.  I am an absolute sucker for puns so that is usually my go to.  Or I am completely basic and go with the classic quote / song lyric.  

My only recommendation when taking your Instagram photos is to not feel like you need to fit in a theme.  While looking at themed accounts can definitely be so pleasing and stunning, don't feel like you have to fit in a certain one.  Make your own that fits you!  And lastly, don't feel limited by the lighting or the coloring because you can always edit it.

August 19, 2015

Book Review: The Magicians

Nothing is worse than taking a week off for vacation for it to rain every day.  And while I have yet to take a trip to the lake or the pool, I have gotten some amazing reading done cuddled up with a cup of green tea.  I just finished an amazing series that my brother recommended to me and now I want to share it all with you.

The first book in the trilogy, The Magicians, came out in 2010, the second, The Magician King, in 2012, and the third and final, The Magician's Land, in 2014.  I hadn't heard anything about the series until my brother started reading it and he lent the books to me after he had finished.  It is one of those things though where you have never heard of the word but then start hearing it everywhere.  Because now when I walk around I see this book in every window and shelf.


If I could give the briefest summary of the series I would say it is the perfect combination of Harry Potter meets Narnia.  Basically, just imagine if Harry Potter went to college and then on to Narnia.  It definitely refers to these two series, poking some fun and making jokes, but it never felt uninventive.  Unlike the other two, this series is definitely meant for adults as there are quite a few graphic scenes and intense subject areas.  I thought it would be hard to create something new because when it comes this genre it feels almost "been there, done that" but this series brought a new fresh feel.

Unlike many series (ahem Hunger Games I am looking at you!) this series only got better with each addition.  I would have to say that the first book is probably my least favorite.  That by no means makes it bad because it is still amazing, but it is a necessary means.  You have to make your way through the first book, get the gritty details and learn the basics before you can dive head first into the mysteries and magic that intertwine in the second and third books.  And don't let the character's "jerk-ish" tendencies deter you from reading the next one!  I would recommend reading the series straight through if you can.

I will leave you with the best summary I could find off Amazon for the first book only as I don't want to give anything away: Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams may have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined . . .

When I finished the book everything I had questions about perfectly fell into line and it was totally resolved but I still wanted a fourth book.  I didn't want the story to be over because I had fallen so in love with the characters - the sign of a perfect series!

August 12, 2015

Mint to Be

The color mint and I have always been inseparable.  My preschool teacher told my mom it was "my color" and ever since then it has been one of my favorite colors of all time.  It might be because my mom would always dress me in mint after that but still its just so dang pretty.  Thats the one part about summertime that I love - mint is a color that can officially be worn proudly and almost every day.  This sweater from Gap has been on repeat like no ones business.  I love the way mint looks with white and I actually loved the way this minty green looked with the light blue specs on the Madewell skirt (#mintisthenewblack).

This paper bag style is one of my new favorites because it is honestly so comfortable and it has pockets (a.k.a. the best thing in the entire world!).  The skirt and top are both old but its the color combo that I love so much!  Plus the pink flowers in the background are just too perfect!






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On a completely irrelevant note, can we please chat about the PLL season 6 finale last night?!  I have so many mixed feelings about it and am so confused and have so many questions still.  I mean I guess technically the "A" reveal does make sense but I don't know if I like it.  If any one you watched it I would love to hear your thoughts.  How do you feel about the 5 year time jump?  Also, when did Emily and Spencer get into school?  Aaah still so confused! haha

August 10, 2015

The Ultimate Birthday Girl Gift Guide

With my 21st birthday coming up in mid September I have been thinking about things I want and thought it would actually make a great post.  Not only are a few of these on my list (*cough* Olivia Pope wine glasses *cough*) but I think they would make great birthday presents for any girl.  I included things ranging from fairly cheap to more expensive and items for various age ranges.  Enjoy!
FujiFilm Instax Essie Nailpolish Ban.Do Mobile Charger Kate Spade Waterbottle Reiko Kaneko Lip Tease Mug Olivia Pope Wine Glass Rifle Co Stationary Prisma Photo Frame Seersucker Pajamas Bath & Body Works Candle Frends Headphones Image Map Philosophy 'birthday Girl' Set Kate Spade Earrings


POLAROID // We have returned to the phase where physical copies of photos are much better than their digital counterparts.  We like the vintage feel of polaroids the hipster vibe.  There is just something about getting the photo instantly after taking it and getting to immediately hang it on your wall.

NAILPOLISH // This is a super simple gift and perfect for almost every girl.  Pick out a few of her favorite colors and tie them off if a cute bag and you are good to go.  You could even make a DIY "At home manicure set" for her!

ON - THE - GO CHARGER // A true necessity for a girl on the go, a student, or a travel fanatic.  I love the gold spots and this one and almost wish I owned it.  I have a travel charger and boy of boy has that things saved my life numerous times.

WATERBOTTLE // Whether they be outdoorsy, athletic, or just someone who likes to drink water (or any beverage really) on the regular a nice water bottle is always a great option.  Some of the stainless steel ones can get pretty up there but boy do they keep a beverage cold for hours on end.

MUG // For the coffee and tea lover mugs are an addiction.  I collect the "Around the world" Starbucks mugs but really all mugs are just the cutest things ever.  I freaking love the classic Anthropology initial mug too.

DIAMOND EARRINGS // Every girl should have a simple pair of diamond stud earrings because they look good on every occasion with every outfit.  Again, these can vary in price but I love the size of these Kate Spade ones.  If you can't decide on the perfect earring pair I think any form of jewelry is such a perfect birthday gift!

BODY WASH AND LOTION // This is a harder one to buy for someone as scents are very specific but I love the idea of making a spa time gift (like the manicure set above) for someone.  I think it would be so cute to add a magazine, a loofa, and even some bath salts to a basket.

STATIONARY // Once again, a staple that every girl should have.  I love sending handwritten notes to people because I think its way more personal than an email or text.  Plus, whoever you send them to can then use them as decoration (I know I do!).  Whether it be an adorable monogram or a simple floral pattern this is classic gift your bestie can use for any occasion.

WINE GLASSES // Obviously this one is for those 21+.  I love the idea of buying monogrammed or decorated ones from Etsy as well!  Depending on your friend's favorite beverage, you could opt for martini glasses or champagne flutes to celebrate her big day.  I would opt for the Olivia Pope wine glass because... uhm... well... Olivia Pope.

PICTURE FRAME // This is a gift that I usually give all my friends and have been doing ever since I was a little kid.  You basically buy a chic frame and insert a photo of you and your bestie together in it.  This way they get the gift and a reminder of an amazing memory.

PAJAMAS // Whether it be college sweats or this adorable seersucker set, pajamas are something people rarely buy for themselves because they kind of get lost behind all the other cute clothes.  But hey pajamas can be cute!  So why not buy a cute pair for your bestie with maybe even some comfy slippers or a fuzzy blanket.

CANDLE // This is another tricky one and should only be done if you know what scents your friend likes.  I just bought a nice candle for my friend's birthday because I knew how addicted she was to the color aqua as well as anything ocean scented.  She loved it!

HEADPHONES // For the techie who also loves some bling.  I've been eyeing these headphones for the longest time and really want them for when I go abroad!  While they are the most expensive item I think they would make the perfect item for a few people split.  These are something that every time she wears them she will think of you.
What is on your birthday wish list?

August 4, 2015

Pleated

Once upon a time one of my best friends, Olivia (make sure to check out her Instagram!), and I tried to start a blog of our own.   It lasted for approximately one summer before we got caught up in school and out lives took over.  Anyways, I don't want those few outfit posts to go to waste so I thought I would transfer them over here!  Obviously this means that most of the pieces are no longer being sold but they are pretty basic pieces so I found very similar ones.  I hope you enjoy :)

Photography by Mari Uchida

Skirt Lauren Conrad (old, similar here and here) || Top Lauren Conrad (old, similar here and here) || Sandals Nine West (old, similar here and here) || Necklace BaubleBar (old, similar here and here) || Watch Michael Kors || Bracelets Alex and Ani

This white pleated maxi skirt was the best find ever. I didn't know when I would wear it but I have worn it so much since I bought it. I love it with crop tops or simple v-necks tucked in. Because pants are my favorite thing to wear and I am not usually one for dresses or skirts, the idea of a maxi skirt is perfect because you get the comfort of a dress but the length of pants. This pleated one has a very casual feel but you can also dress up with a pair of heels and a leather jacket.  I am also in love with this scalloped crop top with lace edges!


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xoxo

July 30, 2015

8 fun ways to stay active

I have tried every way I know to get  into working out.  I used to play club volleyball almost every day of the week for multiple hours each day.  The amount of physical activity I did while I was in middle school and high school I think wore me out for the rest of my life.  By the time I got to college I was over it.  I could not longer be bothered to go to the gym, run a mile, or do my ab workouts.  I still hate running and doing crunches but I have found a few alternatives to the boring routine of the cliche workout routine.


Go for a hike // A very simple alternative that can actually be extremely strenuous.  Hiking might be one of my favorite ways to be physically active because you get to explore amazing new places.  The photo above was taken by Lake Michigan after a hike down a bluff side.  The whole walk was super woodsy and buggy but just look at the view that came afterwards.

Play with your pets // Nothing beats the joy on a puppy's face when you ask the simple question, "Do you want to go for a walk?"  I have always wished my little 7LB pooch could catch a frisbee.  When he was younger he used to love playing fetch and now he takes one look at the toy, looks back at me, and walks away.  But he still loves long walks!  And I love zoning out on long walks with him!

Dance class // I cannot say I have ever done this because I am probably the least flexible person in the world.  My sister on the other hand, has just recently started taking ballet classes and swears by them.  She says they are so fun and work insane parts of her body.  She goes to a class twice a week and can totally see the tightening effects.

Self defense class // This is something that I think every girl should take.  We need to know how to protect ourselves no matter the circumstances and self defense classes are the best way to get there.  Plus, they offer an amazing workout and I can guarantee you will work up quite the sweat.

Bike rides // Nothing screams summertime like lazy bike rides.  We all have seen those adorable scenes in rom coms and dream of those happening to us.  Whether you have a significant other to share your bike ride with or just want to take one by yourself, it is a much better way to workout that being stuck inside a stinky gym riding a bike.

Go for a swim // Grab your friends and plan a beach day.  Rather than a real workout, I feel like I could actually spend hours in a body of water.  You don't really feel tired when you are jumping and swimming and splashing with friends but the second you wrap yourself up in that towel the exhaustion hits.  Plus, while you are in the water, you obviously don't notice your sweat as much!

Rock climbing // The one thing I miss about summer camp is the unlimited access to an amazing climbing wall.  I used to choose that for every "choice activity!"  It was hands down my favorite and will help you build quite the upper body strength.

Join an intramural league // Remember above when I said I used to play volleyball pretty competitively?  Well I missed it so much in college.  It was hard to go from playing all the time to never touching a volleyball.  Lucky for me, my school had intramural sports leagues and volleyball was one of them.  A bunch of friends and I got a team together and it was so much fun! If you aren't in college anymore, look into your local rec center for teams.

And while you stay active, make sure to check out some of my favorite workout attire!
What do you guys do to stay active?

July 27, 2015

My favorite fonts

If you know me at all then you know I have a small obsession with typography.  I wouldn't say I am the best at it at all but I just love it.  I enjoying looking at new fonts and recognizing fonts I know in ads.  I like playing around with what fonts go together and spend way to much time browsing font websites.  One of my favorite things about blogging is getting to make all the main "Pinterest - worthy" photos because I get to play around with fonts!  I normally don't post too many "behind the scenes" style posts but I think I am going to start because I love all the Adobe creative suites and think I could share a few insights I have learned over the years through magazine layout and blogging.  If you guys have any questions please let me know and I might just do a post about it :)


Okay so I know this is the only one that is a paid font but honestly my life has completely changed since getting this bad boy.  I am hands down addicted to it and can't stop staring at it.  I mean come on people, just look at that "r"! The options are endless on creativity and I just love playing around with all the open face capabilities.

Do you guys have any fonts that you are addicted to?

July 16, 2015

Places I Want to Travel To

I told you this Instragram shot was going to see its way into a future post! I don't know if I have mentioned this on the blog yet, but I am going abroad for a semester this fall (so soon its kind of crazy)!  I plan on doing quite a few posts in the upcoming month about my planning and packing so if you have any ideas please let me know!  But all I have been really focusing on so far is all the places I want to travel to while I'm there.  I will be studying in Scotland so its not too difficult for me to get to other European countries making my options pretty endless.  But that being said, I don't want to just go to the typical abroad hot spots (London, Paris, etc.).  I want to go to other cities that would be more difficult to return to any time soon.  Here are the top six places I want to travel to while I am studying abroad!


Barcelona // Spain
Ever since I did a school report on Barcelona in 8th grade I have wanted to travel to this beautiful city.  One of my good friends is studying abroad in Spain so I hope to be able to meet up with her and visit this amazing city.  This is definitely the number one on my list to visit.

Santorini // Greece
The blue and white views get me every time I see a photo of Greece.  Did anyone else follow along as Julia (from Gal Meets Glam) and her husband traveled throughout Greece?  Oh man did my wanderlust skyrocket.  The island looks stunning and unlike anywhere I have ever been.  Please mom can I go? haha  Also, I just really want to be Lena from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and meet a amazing Greek man and explore the city together and swim in the ocean and fall in love... is that really too much to ask for? 


Nice // France
I've been to Paris and loved it.  And while I would honestly go back there in a heartbeat, I want to go somewhere else in France.  And I mean, who doesn't want to travel to the French Riviera?  This seems like the perfect getaway from the chilly Scotland fall I predict I am going to have.  Beach please?

Budapest // Hungary
From all of my friends who have gone abroad, they say Budapest is stunning.  I've never really considered a trip to Hungary in my future but I love that fact.  Its somewhere I would never really think of going to but could be totally amazing.  It seems more authentically European and it would be a major step outside my comfort zone.

Venice // Italy
I have always loved the idea of a city built on water with canals as the roadways.  It just seems so magical and fairytale desk does it not?  While I feel like Rome is the go-to for the abroad traveler, I think Venice is way more my style and my dad and sister who have both been, say that Venice is the best Italian city!  Also, can you tell I want to travel anywhere where there is beautiful water views?


Oslo // Norway
Being part Norwegian, I want to go to Norway to visit my people.  I don't have any relatives there but I just want to see where I come from - and reconnect myself with my fellow blonde hair, blue eyed kind!  haha.  No but in all seriousness, whenever people ask me about my ethnicity I always say "I'm part Norwegian" but don't know too much about the country.  I want to be able to say that statement with pride and with knowledge of the country itself.

If you have ever studied abroad or been overseas, where were some of your favorite cities?  Also, if you have any study abroad tips for me please share because right now I am a blank canvas!

Images via here and here

July 13, 2015

Perforated

I had been seeing these black loafers everywhere and was kind of obsessed with them.  For the longest time I felt like they weren't quite my style though so I was so scared to buy them.  One of my good friends Olivia is quite the shopping enabler and told me I should suck it up and buy the shoes already.  She probably just wanted me to stop talking about how much I wanted the shoes but she also knew I could totally rock them but was scared to.  Her enabling fueled me to just buy the shoes and I am so excited that she did.  I am loving these new shoes!  They are definitely way edgier than I am used to but I am totally digging this new vibe.

So far I have worn them to work multiple times and have gotten many compliments on them!  I think they look best with black denim but I can't wait to keep pairing them with other options.  I just think the outfit combos are endless and I am so excited to get creative.  I also am super stoked to wear them while I am abroad and think they will be perfect for Europe and walking around.  I highly recommend these shoes and y'all should totally check them out :)


Shoes Vans || Button down Banana Republic || V-neck Old (similar here) || Jeans Citizens of Humanity || Necklaces BaubleBar and Aldo (old, similar here) || Watch Michael Kors


Shoes Vans || Jeans Citizens of Humanity || Shirt Urban Outfitters (old, similar here) || Denim Jacket J.Crew (old, similar here) || Necklace BaubleBar (old, similar here) || Watch Michael Kors || Bag Douney & Bourke (old, similar here)


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July 9, 2015

Avocado & Toast

I feel like I should live in L.A. instead of the midwest because I am being super trendy and healthy and eating avocado on my toast which is something I never thought I would actually like.  I mean avocado is really good as guac and on sandwiches but alone, and on dry toast... no way.  But way indeed because they are clearly doing something right in that sunny smoggy place because this stuff is delish!  

And I know we aren't even close to thinking about returning to school because Summer just started but I swear these recipes are a life saver at school for eating healthy.  I bet your college cafeteria sells avocados for part of the year and when they come out stock up.  I think I had that majority of these recipes below for lunch almost every day.  It is a great healthy alternative to salads or plain grilled chicken.  I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite ways to prepare this oh-so-simple meal!



one // There is the obvious classic just avocado and toast with some salt and pepper.  Personally this is my least favorite because I think it can be a bit dry.  If you are going to do with I would add some olive oil or a light dressing.

two // Add tomatoes.  This is one of my favorite options!  I dice some cherry tomatoes in half and cover the toast with them.  Add your seasoning of choice and sprinkle with basil if you have some handy.  For the final touch drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a twist on your classic Caprese salad - on toast edition.

three // With an over-easy egg.  This one is my definite number one option.  I think the egg yolk adds the perfect dressing to the dry toast and pairs perfectly with the avocado.  I was going to provide you all with a picture of this one but whenever I cook my eggs over easy they always taste delicious but never look the greatest so they are never photo perfect.  Oh well, at least you get the idea.

four // This is a great one for all your Mexican food lovers.  Add some salsa or pico de gallo and crumbled corn chips on your bread.  If you aren't a fan of salsa, you could make a version of guac with your avocado by dicing some tomatoes, chopping some onions, and adding some cilantro and lime juice.

five // Another super simple option is to just place some finely sliced cheese over top and drizzle with olive oil.  I think parmesan tastes really good with it.  You could even add a few slices of sausage.  If its a softer cheese you can mix it in with the smashed avocado for a creamier texture, like feta.

six // Instead of lox and cream cheese, you can pair your lox with your avocado toast for a much healthier option that tastes even better in my opinion.  Add some raw onion for an added kick.

Do you guys have any recommendations for what else I can add to my avocado and toast because I want to try it all!

July 6, 2015

Instagram Lately

I have never done one of these posts before but I like reading other people's because I think its kind of cool to see people's though process behind their Instagram photos.  I know I put a ton (if not more than necessary) work into my Instagram photos and filters and I thought I should share some of the funny stories behind them.  And I'll take any excuse to reshare photos I take because I have an addiction!

My Instagram is slightly different than your average lifestyle / fashion blogger because I don't post too many photos of myself or clothes.  Its mainly of scenes or skylines that I find in my daily life.  I do this for two reasons: 1. Most people who follow me on Instagram are my real life friends who don't know I blog so I don't want to post too much about my blog and 2. you can go to my blog for shots of me or what I wear but there aren't too many places where I can post a gorgeous skyline view.


"Oh the places you'll go"
I like to call Door County the Cape Cod of the Midwest.  Or even better, Cape Cod is the Door County of the East Coast.  If you are looking at Wisconsin, it looks like a mitten with a thumb, door county is the entire thumb.  Surrounded by the water of Lake Michigan it is basically my second home.  We have been going up ever since I was born and I love exploring it.  Even though I've been going up for 20 years there are still hidden gems I find: like this awesome direction sign that shows you how far all these different locales are.  I love the one to Santa's House!  And the amazing harbor is in the background! After taking this photo I foresaw so many amazing posts in the future using the caption I did from one of my favorite Dr. Suess books.


"cherry ice cream"
This is my favorite Vineyard Vines dress that I bought and posted about (it is currently sold out but I absolutely love this one and this one)!  I wore it for the 4th and because it was only blue and white I needed something red... aka my excuse to buy cherry ice cream! Cherries are a Door County staple and they put them in everything!  The most delicious thing ever and I'm not even really an ice cream person.


"Happy 239th birthday America!  You don't look a day over 200!"
Yet another shot of the marina because I have an obsession with boats and harbors.  I also really like water and blue - it kind of goes with the insta theme.  This was my post of the Fourth of July after we watched the parade, ate ice cream, and wandered around Egg Harbor.  I don't think I can stress enough how amazing Door County is and if you ever get the chance you need to visit.  Let me know if you do and I can tell you all the best spots to go to :)


"hidden alleys"
I found this little alley right next to the building where I work in my hometown.  It looks like it should lead to a gorgeous restaurant or open courtyard but instead it is just an alley with beautiful garbage cans.  I loved the iron archway and all the greenery that was poking through.  I thought so long about posting this one because I'm not the biggest fan of the color green (like I said above, I' way more into the blues) but this was just too pretty to pass up!


"goodnight"
I didn't take this photo.  Now how I would love to take credit I simply cannot.  One of my friends and work took it from her friends balcony and showed it too me.  I immediately knew I needed to Insta it because it just fit so perfectly with my theme.  I think my favorite time of day is right before gets dark out and the sky is this deep royal navy exactly like this photo.  The city lights have already turned on but you can still see the buildings.  Its not too dark where all you can see is bright lights.  I also love how you can just see the faint outline of Navy Pier as well.  Did you hear that they are actually tearing down the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel?  I know crazy right?!  It is such a Chicago skyline staple.  But luckily, they are replacing it with a bigger and better one.  Oh the modern era.


"This photo cost me $6, an umbrella, and my sanity"
This is a prime example about how Instagram shots often come with crazy background stories.  One day at work by boss asked me an another girl to run and errand.  And I don't know about you but I love getting to run errands because it gets me up from behind my desk and out into the city.  We were supposed to go to a yacht club which was only a 15 minute walk away but somehow got lost in a high rise development.  We hopped in a cab figuring that would be easier but our cab driver got lost as well.  I didn't want to pay the full fare because the driver had to call someone else for directions and I ended up getting us there.  In my frustrated and overwhelmed state of paying for the cab, I accidentally left my umbrella.  All in all, the errand was pretty much a bust but I did end up getting this gorgeous shot of the harbor with a bit of the city skyline.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and let me know if this is something you think I should keep doing.  And if you don't follow me on Instagram yet I think you totally should because I am absolutely addicted!

July 2, 2015

Summer Playlist

I listen to country music all year long but when summer comes I blast it even louder!  Nothing makes me happier than driving with the windows down and blasting my music.  There is something so freeing about it!  Here are a few of my favorite tunes perfect for pool parties, BBQs, and late night staring up at the stars.  Make sure to follow me on Spotify as well for when I add new music to my playlists!



What are some of your favorite songs this summer that I should add to my playlist?

June 28, 2015

2 Years

I have officially been blogging for two years!  Woah how time flies.  Its crazy to think that I started this blog before entering college and now I am half way done and so many amazing things have happened in that time.  Blogging has been an amazing outlet and I cannot believe where it has taken me.  Looking forward, the next year of my life is going to be amazing because I am going abroad in the fall and I cannot wait to share all my adventures with all of you lovelies.  I know I am not very consistent and my posts can kind of be all over the place, but I just wanted to say thank you all so much for continuing to read this little slice of my life!


Technically I'm holding up four fingers but we can pretend right!?

xoxo

June 16, 2015

City Love: Chicago

I grew up living less than an hour away from downtown Chicago.  We would go downtown for class field trips and warm summer days.  My dad works downtown so I would always go down to visit him as well.  It wasn't until these past few summers that I realized I didn't know the city as well as I thought I did.  Working downtown gives me a totally different perspective of the city.  It's beauty intensifies and the sunset creates a beautiful glow against the skyscrapers.  All the events I attend for one of my jobs puts me on the most amazing rooftops with the most amazing views!  Here are some photos I've taken recently that have made me fall even more in love with this city.








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