One of the things I wish I did more often was read. I say I’m going to make time for it, but always fail to follow through. I was an avid reader as a child all the way through college, and somehow life eventually got in the way of one of my favorite activities. It’s really unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point, as reading is one of my best escapes and stress-relievers. I’m in the process of determining how I can slowly introduce it back into my life, including a monthly book club with my closest girlfriends (who doesn’t need another excuse to hang with the besties?).
Meanwhile, vacation time for me is prime reading time. Prior to every big trip, I research and compile a reading list, stock my Kindle up and spend long afternoons reading on the beach. Here’s what’s currently on my reading list:
One thing I’ve learned so far after having my own REAL home for one week, is that the number of decisions you have to make is overwhelming. Sometimes paralyzing. Every tiny detail, some as small as what color you want to use for your door frames or kitchen backsplash grout, takes time and consideration.
Another realization I had is how much more I pay attention to interiors now. I look for inspiration everywhere I go, and appreciate when I see an amazing space.
I was in Miami for New Year’s Eve last year, and we celebrated the New Year at Soho Beach House. Soho House obviously does a phenomenal job when it comes to decor (I have a book I purchased that I will share with you guys soon that’s all about this), and this specific tile they had in their common area has stuck with me now for literally MONTHS.
I can’t believe it’s already mid-July. We’ve had such a wonderful summer thus far in Chicago. Not too much rain, and a lot of sunshine – if anyone needs it, we do. This city truly comes alive in the summer months. There are countless activities & events to partake in every weekend (& yes – weekdays too!). It can be overwhelming, and I find most of my summer weekends get booked up fairly quickly with weddings, birthday parties, quick vacations. That said, I make an effort to block a handful of weekends in the summer for some me time. Here’s what’s currently on my bucket list:
Gboard: Google’s latest keyboard for iOS. Prior to installing Gboard, I already had three different keyboards installed on my phone. It may seem like a bit much, but believe me, these keyboards are used on a daily basis (I’m talking emojis, bitmojis, etc.). Am I a keyboard fanatic? Guilty.
Google released this new keyboard a few weeks back, and I decided to give it a go to see what all of the hype was about. There are unique Gboard features I’m loving, and I find myself using it more and more – and saving time by doing so!
One thing I love about Chicago is that once the weather starts to warm up, people are out and about…immediately. We’ve been so deprived of sunshine, that once the sun makes an appearance, we’re out in shorts and tank tops (even though it’s still low 60’s and probably still too cold for summer clothing). Hit up Big Star’s patio on a sunny Saturday afternoon and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Outside of taking advantage of every bar/restaurant patio, I typically try to plan a few spring-y activities (in addition to things I’ve been wanting to do for months while in hibernation mode) to embrace the change of seasons. Currently on my bucket list:
After 4 years of CrossFitting (I know, I did CrossFit for THAT long, don’t judge), I threw in the towel a few months back and signed up for ClassPass. As much as I loved CrossFit, it was starting to take a toll on my body. I needed variety in my workout routine, and transitioning to ClassPass has been such a great experience thus far. I have fitness dates with friends who also ClassPass, and I’ve been able to explore various fitness studios across the city (not to mention exploring new neighborhoods I normally don’t venture out to). After 4 months of ClassPassing, I’ve found a handful of studios that I now have on rotation. Some of them include well-known studios like Flywheel and Corepower Yoga, but my favorites are these Chicago gems…
This time of year calls for bundling up on my comfy couch and binge watching movies & television series. Not going to lie, this is probably the only thing I like about winter. I’m not one to watch live TV (I don’t even have cable) but I’m a sucker for a good series on Hulu/Netflix when the time is right. It helps that there is an abundance of amazing series available right now…and as the weeks go by my list keeps on growing. Here’s what’s currently on my must-watch list.
I recently discovered podcasts, and I’m officially hooked. I’ve found myself taking longer walks just to get more listening time in. It’s such a productive way to spend time you’d otherwise be wasting scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feeds (we’re all guilty of this – I am a huge offender). It’s the perfect go-to while stuck in traffic, on the train en route to work, on your morning jog, or anywhere really. There are thousands of podcasts out there that cover a variety of topics, but these are five I currently have on my playlist.
Living in a big city, there are nail salons at every corner. I’ll let you in on a little secret my friends…only about 15% of these nail salons are actually legit. Mayyybee that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point. I’ve learned the hard way, stopping at a random place for a quick mani before dinner and being completely disappointed when I notice my chipped nail as I enjoy my cocktail later that evening. We’ve all been there, and it’s not ideal. First world problem, I know, but a problem nonetheless. After some trial and error, I’ve found a few gems in various neighborhoods of Chicago, and they’re also affordable. Here’s a list of my favorite nail salons in Chicago:Continue reading…
A new item has been added to my to-do list. I’m attempting to learn a new language, Greek. I’m fully aware it’s not the easiest language to learn, but my Greek boyfriend claims it’s well worth it (we can all agree that he’s a bit biased – no?). We do make it out to Greece every summer, so it’s not like I wouldn’t put it to use…plus, many English words stem from Greek (insert scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is GREEK”), so maybe I’ll expand my vocabulary a bit.
Learning a new language is a time investment, and between my full-time job and blogging, I have to make the most of every minute. I figured an easy way to start is by using the time I spend commuting to the office. There are SO many language apps out there, and having access on my phone when I’m on the go allows for more practice & better time management (it’ll cut down the time I spend scrolling through Instagram, checking Facebook or reading email). There are the 3 language apps I’ve found to be most effective: