July 22, 2016

CHICAGO PART 1

So … it’s taken me a bit but I’m finally getting around to posting about our epic Chicago trip!

It’s nearly the end of the month and we went over the 4th weekend. Why has it taken me so long? To be honest, I got home and all the drama happening around the globe really got to me. Not trying to spark up a ton of emotions here but the gist is that between shootings, what happened in France and protests..posting about my vacation seemed like the least of mine or anyone else’s worry. Current events still aren’t good but I’ve regained the desire to work on photos and write again, so here we go!

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Nikes were a must for all the walking! Over the course of the trip I wore these, my Chucks and sandals at night. This outfit includes Ray Ban sunglasses, Anthropologie dress, Madewell purse and FP bra.

First thing we did off the plane was buy a pass for the *awesome* L train and ride it into Chi-town (do “cool” people say this?) I hope the residents know how blessed they are with their public transportation!  Only time we were in a car was Ubering when we wanted to rest our feet towards the end of the trip.  Other than that it was the L, rented bikes or bus.

After dropping off our bags at our Airbnb, we went (read: ran) to the John Hancock building for the panoramic view of the city and made it just in time for the sunset.  Dustin was insistent that it was better than the Willis Tower and I can’t imagine he was wrong! Felt like I could see every square inch from the lounge on the 96th floor.

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Bottom level of the building.

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See that Armitage sign on the left? That brick building right behind it was our home away from home!  In the Airbnb listing they said light sleepers may be bothered by the train but they had earplugs in the room. I consider myself a light sleeper, however, the train didn’t bother me at all. Think it helped we got in pretty late each night, had been drinking and the room was really dark. I also play a noise machine app on my phone every single night regardless of where I stay so the combo of all that made being nearly ON the tracks no sweat.  Getting to where we needed to go was literally just a few steps away. Convenience wins!

Following the best view ever we met up with Dustin’s cousin at this spot called Kings. His buddy was djing and hooked us up with free bowling, drinks and food! We danced and bowled till about 1:00am then rested up for day two.

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To start the second day off right we began it with a hearty meal at Ann Sather.  We had perused around Yelp but ultimately trusted the advice of our host and it was just what we needed (esp to kick that hangover…)

The original owner was Swedish so there’s bits of that background in the menu (meatballs!) but we also noticed a lot of Southern options, i.e. the biscuits and gravy Dustin chowed down on! Big portions, made from scratch all at low prices – speaking our language!

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After the big breakfast we biked off all the carbs and headed to explore around the zoo. Our original itinerary didn’t include the zoo but upon learning it was free, we thought, ‘why the heck not..” I took a bunch of photos but you’ve all seen a camel and gorilla so I’ll save those for reminiscing.  We honestly couldn’t believe it was free! SO so good. Really great primate exhibit and they seemed so happy and had tons of room.

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I’m rocking my new Eye Buy Direct specs, Billabong kimono and Old Navy dress. D’s wearing Warby Parkers and an Old Navy shirt.

After the zoo it was off to Goose Island Brewery!

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The location was in a vacant, almost industrial part of town. There wasn’t a soul in sight on our walk to get there until we got right up to the brewery.  We didn’t feel unsafe or anything but I just kept thinking, ok, is this place real and will it be open?

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OPEN FOR SIPPING!

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Unfortunately the tours were sold out but we’ve been through plenty of breweries so we didn’t worry about it and got right to the tasting.  They had several taproom only offerings which happen to be my favorites! Unlike a lot of breweries they don’t do a “flight” so we made up our own with half pours and sharing.

Our selections
Summertime
Sofie~have had before, easy drinking
312~good wheat beer, one of D’s all time favorite
Four Stars Pils~another easy drinker. light and crisp.

(Exclusives)
MW X SW~the pretty, almost red/pink one. sweet but not too sweet. 8oz was just enough.
Rauchkeller~def lived up to the smoked characteristic, I liked, Dustin thought it was a little much
Gillian~we love Farmhouses! did not disappoint.

Such a shame we couldn’t take a growler of a special one home! Def a must visit if you’re a beer lover like us.

Next on the days schedule was the architectural boat tour!

 

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Needless to say after the brewery we were pretty buzzed but I’d like to think that made the boat tour even better! This very touristy activity came highly recommended by friends and I don’t mind one bit doing some tourist things from time to time, especially when it’s on a BOAT!

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It was so cool seeing some of the biggest and tallest buildings from the water. We learned so much about the city and having recently read The Devil in the White City (well, most of it) it was even cooler hearing about landmarks from the World’s Fair. One of the facts that made us laugh was that Chicago got it’s name from the Native Americans who thought it was stinky and “smelled of onions.”

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For the duration of the tour we hung out on the roof but the bottom was so pretty, and had a bar, so I went exploring while still listening to the guide.

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I loved this photo too much to not include because of a certain building in the background…Though it does say “AMERICA” if I do say so myself…

After the tour we went home to freshen up and grab dinner then met up with Dustin’s brother who was visiting his girlfriend who’s interning at the John Hancock building at a spot called Delilah’s.

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Can you tell who’s related?

Meal we ate was SO INCREDIBLY GOOD we didn’t take any photos before we scarfed it down. Place was called Ba-Ba-Reeba and served up the best tapas I’ve ever had. The margaritas were also on point. First two days were a blast! Hard to believe it got better..more posts coming soon!

*sidenote* Photos were taken with iPhone 6+ and a rented Sony RX100 IV from PPR here in Atlanta. Renting and trying something new was fun but there were things I loved about it and things I’m kinda “meh” about.   Now wishing I would have just brought my Mark II and just dealt with the weight. Oh well, thought I wanted to buy the little guy but now thinking the Mark is my go-to for life. Canon for the win.

Have a great weekend!

Come back to see part 2 <3

June 29, 2016

WEAR 15

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Lately I’ve been obsessed with sleeves that have open or off-the-shoulder detail.  It started with my wedding dress and now has over taken my closet! Funny thing is, I feel like my shoulders have always been very broad so you would think it would accentuate that feature and make me feel too wide but in reality it’s flattering.

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This is the outfit I wore to Monday’s Herradura Tequila event. Thanks to Jessica Camerata of My Style Vita for snapping these pics in 95 degrees of Georgia heat (+ 100% humidity *probably..) before we got tipsy!

UO dress, Ray Ban sunnies via Shopbop, vintage bag and Old Navy sandals

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SHOP THIS POST ~

 

Tomorrow we are off to Chicago! It’s my first time going and we have a lot planned. Expect a huge recap next week. Until then, safe travels/firework lighting/booze drinking/lake floating/family hanging~HAPPY FORTH!

HERRADURA TASTING EVENT

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Monday, Jessica Camerata of My Style Vita and I hung out at Iberian Pig with local bartenders and ladies from Greenhouse Agency to learn about and taste Herradura Tequila.  We had a 5-course meal each paired with Herradura. Each so flavorful! It felt extra special since the chef himself came out and explained the dish. Here’s some behind the scenes ~

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Fun facts I learned about the tequila and the brand ~

There are 136 type of agave plants but only blue agave makes tequila.

Unless specified as 100% agave the tequila will likely be 51% agave and 49% leading to that hangover college students are all too familiar with.

Herradura prides themselves as being 100% agave.

Top reasons to choose Herradura over other tequilas:

  • their history of being one of the first distilleries and heritage
  • they slow roast their agave leading to a complex and full bodied product
  • age longer than industry standards
  • uses natural fermentation and use only sugars that are naturally occurring in the plant
  • distill at a lower proof thus adding less water preventing dilution

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Tequila 101

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We had a bunch of yummy drinks but my taste buds fell in love with a unique blend of Herradura Silver, their very own agave nectar, muddled cilantro and orange. Jessica and I both thought the cilantro was such an obvious pairing we never thought of!

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After learning about the brand, tequila in general and enjoying our dinner the cocktail connoisseurs each had a station with ingredients and tools to come up with their own concoction.  They had 10 minutes to plan, execute and name their drink. Then they presented it to Jessica, myself as well as two other judges. We rated each drink based on creativity/presentation/taste and then selected a winner. The winning team used pickle juice they ran downstairs to track down and jalapenos ~ such a cool flavor combination!

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We were gifted our very own, personalized bottle of Herradura! As big fans of tequila, Jessica and I died a little when we saw our blog logo printed on the back!

Thanks to Rachel and the rest of the team for the amazing night! Can’t wait to collaborate in the future!

Next up, see what I wore to the event ~