November 30, 2016


As of yesterday, it's already been three months since I finished my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Life off the trail has been great, but I still miss the trail and thru-hiker life so much every day. A fellow thru-hiker recently made this video and it does an incredible job describing some of the post-trail emotions I've felt.

On another note, the pictures above are a few favorites I took on trail. If you'd like to see some more trail pictures, I posted at least one picture for every day of my trip on Instagram. The blog Appalachian Trials also posts amazing hiker-sourced pictures to their Instagram account year-round. Just look through some of those and tell me that you're not starting to think of thru-hiking!!

November 29, 2016


Before I forget, I want to share two desserts I made earlier this month. 
Both were on my birthday list, so check and check!

I followed this recipe and they were so nice that I actually made them twice!

I followed this recipe using a combo of almonds and walnuts.
Also, being stubborn and wanting to make it from scratch, I made my own phyllo dough.
It isn't as good as store bought, but hey, now I know for next time! 

(Also confession... I probably had a piece of baklava (or two) for breakfast four days in a row.
Actually maybe it's not a confession because I don't really have any regrets). 

November 28, 2016


(Until Joe gets back!)

Even after two years of long distance, a week apart has felt longer than I thought it would. I'm excited to have Joe back to share an apartment with and eat dinner with and go on walks with and watch It's Always Sunny with and then inevitably quote lines from It's Always Sunny with.

As for what I've been up to the past few days with an apartment to myself...

Decorating for Christmas - My grandparents sent me off with a bunch of their old Christmas decor, so I decked the halls studio apartment. Yay!

Cleaning - I was supposed to do this before Thanksgiving but then I decided to donate blood and then felt kinda
lightheaded/tired for a few days so put it off.

Rewatching Desperate Housewives - I watched it five years ago and I'm still just as obsessed.

November 27, 2016


This Thanksgiving was bittersweet - it was the first one without my grandma, and the last one in her house ever.

It was still a happy Thanksgiving. My grandma raised such a wonderful family (eight kids!) and I love my aunts and uncles and cousins so much.

(Even when I have to answer how I like to Chicago, how my job search is coming, how Joe is, and how the rest of the Appalachian Trail was to each and every one of them. ;p )

We ate lots, caught up lots, and laughed lots. My ten year old cousin also tried to school me on the concept of infinity... so yeah, there's that too.

Hope you had a good one. xo

November 23, 2016


On Sunday, Joe and I bundled up (first below freezing day!!) and headed to the West Loop. Sunday is usually when we go to Stan's, but after stumbling upon Sawada Coffee online, we changed our plans.

At Sawada, Joe had a chocolate donut and a High Five Mocha Latte (because mocha is his drink of choice, but also because high fives are awesome). I had a matcha-mocha-espresso "Military Latte" and a camo donut to match.

We ate breakfast next to a couple who was definitely on one of their first dates. It was funny to overhear how intensely, but carefully they discussed a wide range of subjects. All the while we took silly pictures, joked about a few of my high school crushes (including a guy with a tattoo on the inside of his lip...), and quoted our favorite It's Always Sunny scenes. Yeah. I really like where we're at. :)

After breakfast we headed to Millennium Park to see the tree, which is already up!!! I'm not one for getting into Christmas before December, but with everything going on this year, partaking in some early holiday cheer feels right.