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There hasn’t been a #ThursdayThoughts in awhile so it’s time to get personal. I’ve finally rounded up all of the photos from Katy Perry’s Witness Tour, which was harder than you might think becasue my computer and phone died within two weeks of each other. To explain my concert experience, I have to back this up a bit, nearly 10 years.

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Katy Perry has always been a huge part of my life. We’ve lost a lot of music legends over the last year and I sympathize with so many of the people who experience these musician’s deaths as though they are a friend. If there is a musician, actor or comedian you feel that way about, then you understand. You’ve listened to their songs to get through a hard time, watched your favorite movie over and over again to escape reality for two hours or repeated their stand-up special so you can laugh.

Katy Perry has been that person for me. I associate so many of her songs with certain periods in my life. Once on a long car ride with my friend we made up an entire choreographed hand dance to “Hot ’n Cold,” because we were cool like that. In high school, I made my Facebook status the lyrics to “Firework” (because making your status song lyrics showed emotional complexity) and my crush liked that status. I pretty much took it as a marriage proposal and analyzed the meaning of his virtual approval with one of my friends for the next few hours. If I ever hear “Dark Horse,” I’m instantly transported back to SpoCo (one of my favorite college bars) where I drunkenly rapped all of the lyrics, drink in one hand, imaginary mic in the other, and showed off my truly awful dance moves.

These might seem like strange examples of what I classify as a “good time,” but each of these memories makes me smile.

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As an album, Witness has a different tone for Katy. For all of the critics who say, “she’s changed,” well, yes. It’s been a decade. Don’t expect that a 33-year-old woman doesn’t have some stories to tell. Different doesn’t mean bad, though.

I had a few people ask me how this tour compared to the California Dreams Tour or Prismatic World Tour, both of which I attended. The experiences are too different to even compare. She didn’t wear a wig (unless you count crystals as a wig), she didn’t have as many costume changes and there weren’t floating poop emojis. It was still fun and entertaining, it was just done in a different way. It was a true blend of Katheryn and Katy.

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Katy performed two nights in Chicago and I went on the second, which also happened to be her birthday. Throughout the concert, her parents, friends, family and even her dog surprised her while she was on stage. Two of her cousins were actually seated directly in front of us, disguised in crazy wigs and face masks so she wouldn’t see them. Despite the fact that I was extremely sick the week of the concert, it was an amazing night and the overpriced tickets were well worth it.

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So where does all of this leave us? I’ve gone through a weird time in the last year, writing about experiences I’ve had that have been on my mind lately. Almost every song on the album has related to one of those stories in some way. Personally, Witness came out right when I really needed it most. Now all I can do is patiently wait until the next album comes out. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another five years.

 

I hate cooking. Here’s why:

  1. I hate doing dishes. I would honestly rather clean the toilet. I try to cook all of my food in one pot or pan if possible. When I bake my food, you bet your butt I line the tray with aluminum too so I don’t have to wash the sheet.
  2. My very tiny apartment doesn’t have a vent above the stove, which means that the sans-door bedroom located next to the kitchen will smell like whatever I cook that night.
  3. I don’t even have flour in my apartment. If it’s beyond pasta or a chicken breast, it’s outside of my skillset.

Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of cooking. Enter, Kitchfix. I found Kitchfix when Erica from Everything Erica was talking about it on her Instagram Stories. I decided to check it out and give it a go. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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Basic rundown of Kitchfix:

  • Local Chicago peeps cooking some great food and whipping up awesome granola
  • A ton of Whole 30, paleo and vegetarian options
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack options with prices ranging from $5-$20 dollars (most around $12)
  • Menu changes weekly, you can see a picture of the dish online as well as the nutrition information
  • Only $6 for delivery, $1 to pick up at one of their numerous “hub” locations (mainly local gyms) and free to pick up at their kitchen (on Grand Ave near Ashland)

Orders are packed nice and neat with your sauce on the side as you can see above. Now that I’ve tried a bunch of their food, I decided to rank everything that I’ve ordered. I plan on continually updating this list every time I order, so I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens on my Instagram.

Starting at the bottom and moving toward #1:

11. Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup – If you like spice, you’ll love this soup. I am not a spice person and was not expecting it to have a kick like it did. However, I was hungry and it was still tasty, so I finished it.

10. Mustard Pork – This dish was good, it simply wasn’t my absolute favorite. The sauce was really nice, just a hint of mustard tang.

9. White Chili – This chili was really good, but had just a tiny, tiny kick to it. Keep in mind, I’m also very anti-spice, so I’m probably a bad judge.

Starting with this dish on, I would re-order everything #8 and above. I really struggled to rank the dishes from here on up, but I pretty much ranked them based on how frequently I would re-order each dish.

8. Paleo Beef Stroganoff –  The week I ordered this I had a SERIOUS craving for beef stroganoff. The food gods answered my prayers. I was skeptical of cashew “cream” sauce, but holy smokes it was amazing. Only complaint: there could always be more mushrooms.

7. Grilled Chicken Salad with Tangy Avocado Vinaigrette – I want to put this dressing on everything I eat. No joke.

6. Paleo Shrimp Diablo – My biggest complaint with shrimp dishes is that they normally only have 3 shrimp, but this bad boy was loaded. Total win for shrimp lovers.

5. Grass-fed Beef Picadillo – I normally only eat beef out at restaurants and cook a lot of chicken at home. It was nice to get a little red meat in my routine and the dish was delicious.

4. Power Green Veggie Quinoa Bown – While this may seem basic and kind of boring, this green dish is very tasty (hint of lemon), filling and gets a lot of greens in your diet. I’ve gotten 4 or 5 between my last 3 orders. It’s that good.

3. Paleo Chicken Kale Ceasar Salad – This is one of the few salads I’ve ever eaten that actually makes you feel like you’re eating something of substance and not just leaves. The kale is hearty, the dressing is delicious and I really do feel full after.

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2. Southwest Brown Rice Pilaf – While pretty basic, this brown rice pilaf was amazing. It hasn’t been back on the menu since my first order, but I’m still dreaming about it…

1. Tuscan Shrimp and Sausage Butternut Risotto – I wouldn’t have thought that this combo would work, but it does. The sausage had a bit of a kick to it, but it was quite tasty.  Once again, the dish was loaded with shrimp.

When you have an account you get a referral link for friends: If you would like $30 off your first order of $35 or more (no, that isn’t a typo), you can use my referral link HERE. Transparency: I get some money off, you get some money off, you get money off for your friends…we’re all winning here.

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All orders also come with this handy-dandy bag. Save those 7 cents at the grocery store (and the planet).

If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing my Top 4 favorite places that I ate and drank at in Cleveland, Ohio. I didn’t know what to expect in Cleveland but it really was a charming city. One of the things I love most about Chicago is that you’re on Lake Michigan and it’s nice that Cleveland is right on Lake Erie. Cleveland has the feel of a big city without feeling as crowded and is very walkable.

Behold, the World’s Largest Outdoor Chandelier.  Intersection of Euclid Ave and E 14th Street.

Coffee – Pour Cleveland

530 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH

  • Pictured: cappuccino
  • Great atmosphere
  • Good wifi
  • Downside: I collect mugs and love getting a new one from each city I visit. Sadly, Pour was out of the cups they sell.

BBQ – Mabel’s BBQ

2050 E 4th St, Cleveland, OH

  • Pictured: Big Big and J.W. Potatoes
  • Great outdoor atmosphere along the downtown ped mall
  • Large selection of whiskey/bourbon
  • Huge portions
  • Food comes out very quickly

Mexican – Momocho

1835 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH

  • Pictured: Tacos de pescados
  • Very knowledgable staff
  • Recently revamped cocktail menu
  • Sharable plates
  • GET THE GOAT CHEESE GUAC

Dinner & Drinks – Hodge’s

668 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH

Hodges was my favorite meal of the trip. I ate at the bar, but they had great high-top tables in the bar area, a nice dining room, as well as an outdoor bar and patio. Happy Hour goes until 6:30 (whoa), so it’s a great place for drinks to turn into dinner.

  • Pictured: Dinner is served with cornbread. It’s baked and served in a skillet with bourbon maple butter. Drool. For dinner I had the Hanger Steak. Everything was absolutely delicious and I finished all of it.
  • Very friendly staff
  • Really high-quality food without a crazy price tag
  • To reiterate: cornbread.

Leave your recommendations down below for more places to eat and drink in Cleveland!

I was driving home the other night around 7 when I realized it was starting to get dark out, which means the season is almost over. I didn’t get to do all of the things I wanted to this summer (so many patios, so little time), but I’m hoping to squeeze in a few more things this fall before it gets too chilly.

It was a pretty great summer, so I wanted to share my highlights and favorites. Tell me yours down below, I’d love to hear!

1) Wearing less (if any) makeup: This summer I really couldn’t be bothered with makeup. In the picture above, I’m barely wearing any. Just my It! Cosmetics CC+ Cream and…

2) Glossier Cloud Paint and Boy Brow: These two products were life savers this summer. I have Cloud Paint in Dusk, which doubles as a great bronze/blush flush that looks super natural. Boy Brow to keep my eyebrows in check and that’s it. *shameless plug – you can shop 20% off your first order through my page here.

3) My newest niece: She’s pretty much a perfect specimen and I don’t understand how my three nieces are all so beautiful. If you want to know me IRL, this is me. We also got to take a trip out to Denver and see the whole crew, which was a blast.

4) Bodysuits: Whenever I went out this summer, I was most likely wearing a bodysuit and jeans. If we’re being honest, it took me awhile to hop on the bodysuit train because I thought going to the bathroom would be a pain, but it’s all good.

Also wearing this bodysuit in white in the first pic

5) Letting my theme go: I used to really stress about my Instagram theme. I wanted it to look “perfect,” but really I was making it boring and sterile. Now, I’m just posting what makes me happy and I think it looks a lot better as a result.

6) The lake: I love lake life. You smell like sunscreen, relax by the water, eat dinner late and play board games. Going to my friend’s lake house is so much fun and I’m so happy we got to go up this summer.

7) Stok Iced Coffee: At one point this summer, I went through 5 in 9 days. I went so far as to tweet Stok asking if you can buy direct (answer: you can’t).

8) Going to Iowa: Iowa always feels like home. Jacob and I took a great trip to Iowa over Father’s Day and it was wonderful to relax, see his family and take a break for a nice long weekend.

9) The Box of Style: I’ve been lusting over my boss’ Box of Style subscription for awhile now so I finally pulled the trigger and signed up. You can receive $10 off your first box here to join in on the fun for fall. For $99/box, or $350 for the year, you get over $400 worth of product per box. This is not a little cheap box – you get some seriously awesome stuff. The summer box had a hat, kimono, necklace, two beauty products and sunglasses.

10) Chopping my hair: This was the first time I styled my short hair since chopping it all of and it felt so nice. I’m in that awkward flippy stage right now where it won’t stay straight because it’s hitting your shoulders, so we’ll see if fall brings another chop or I let it go.

If you want to see more pics of this handsome fella and me, click here.

Here’s to you, Summer 2017. Bring on fall.

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In my mind, the year can be broken up into two season: fall and everything else. I love everything about fall – the excitement of back to school (even though I’m not in school I still get a new planner), the smell of cinnamon candles, warm comfort foods and of course, festive drinks.

Today I whipped up a little fall-inspired apple cocktail to get you in the spirit because as far as I’m concerned, bathing suits are out and blanket scarves are in.

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Martell Blue Swift, but you can use a bourbon if you like
  • 3 oz apple cider/juice – This is where your personal preference comes into play. If you want something a little more tarte, go with a honey crisp juice or cider. If you like something a little more sweet, go with a traditional cider.
  • 1/2 oz lemon
  • Cinnamon stick to garnish
  • Optional: honey simple syrup to sweeten (recipe here).

Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or apple slice. Serve and enjoy!

While the Martial Blue Swift was kindly provided to me, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. I’m just that excited about fall. Enjoy responsibly.

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