Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Hump day calls for cookies. Agreed? Agreed.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies are the ugly duckling of the cookie jar. They seem to always be passed up for the more “appetizing” chocolate chip studded cookies. Poor oatmeal raisin cookies.

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These oatmeal raisin cookies are not ugly ducklings. They are tender, perfectly spiced, and filled with plump raisins. The more raisins the better is my philosophy when it comes to these cookies because they add a sweet surprise to each bite.

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I promise you that these oatmeal raisin cookies will not be passed up. They will be eaten faster than it takes for a grape to be turned into a raisin. Actually that’s a bad example since grapes take days to shrivel into raisins. How about these cookies will go faster than you can say, “Baby, it’s cold outside?” Yes, that’s better. And it’s true because baby it IS cold outside.

DSC_0114.jpgYou know how you can warm yourself up though? By turning on your oven and making these cookies. They taste like fall, especially when paired with a pumpkin spice latte* (aka fall’s official drink). 😉

*Sidetone: what are your feelings on the notorious pumpkin spice latte (PSL)? Love it? Hate it? Never tried it? I’m the third option, actually!

What are you waiting for? Go get out your mixing bowl and prove to the world that oatmeal raisin cookies are not ugly duckings with this cookie recipe. Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes 14 cookies

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 + ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp nondairy milk- I used almond
  • ½ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together.
  3. Whisk in wet ingredients.
  4. Add raisins and mix dough until just combined.
  5. Spoon dough into balls on a cookie sheet, then flatten them a bit with your palm.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

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Happy Wednesday! Happy baking!

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Fab Five Friday 9/30/16

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We made it! It’s finally Friday!

How has your week been? Mine has been a struggle bus, but I made it without dying (barely). I’ve been feeling under the weather since last week Wednesday- I’ve developed a bad cold, just like about half the other students on my campus. I guess Mother Nature decided that once fall started it was time to send in the cold winds and torrential downpours, both of which helped contribute to the spread of the common cold version of the plague on campus.

If you’re feeling sick too, I sincerely hope you feel better and drinks lots of water and tea. Speaking of tea, number one on my fab five list is…

1. Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai tea

A.k.a. the main thing that has been getting me through the week! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve had five to seven cups of tea a day for the past four days. It helps me feel better so I figure I might as well load up on it! TJ’s chai is the best chai tea I’ve ever had (wayyyyy better than Tazo), and this is definitely my new favorite tea. It’s spicy and cinnamony and oh-so-good. My favorite way to enjoy it is in my giant MSU spartan mug with a 1:4 ratio of soy milk and hot water.

Before I came to college, I drank tea, but not that often and only chai. Now I drink it religiously! Green, chai, black, herbal… you name it and I’ll drink it. I like trying all the varieties the dining hall offers.

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2. Pretzel Bark Thins

Thank you to my grandma for introducing me to Bark Thins! They’re dark chocolate slabs mixed in with pretzels– what more could you want in a snack? They have other delightful flavors like chocolate almond, chocolate peanut, and chocolate pumpkin seed. I highly recommend these! You can find them at most grocery stores, as well as at CVS.

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3. Dining Hall Food

The food at my college is actually pretty good! I’ve been enjoying all different types of food in the dining halls, from oatmeal (with peanut butter and banana) to salads to hummus and pita bread with tabbouleh to roasted veggies and rice to soup GALORE. My lunch on Wednesday was especially good- vegan chili with french fries (chili fries!!), hummus, carrots, and steamed broccoli & cauliflower. img_4563

Another day I had a veggie peanut wrap, side salad, and herby potato pancake that was unique but really good.

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4. This Pumpkin Bread

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It’s vegan, gluten free, and looks fantastic. I know it has to be good since my friend Demeter spent six trials perfecting it! I highly recommend checking out this bread and Demeter’s site in general, Beaming Baker. Her recipes are good, her photography is incredible, and the stories she includes in each post are so entertaining. I can’t wait to make this pumpkin bread with my mom when I come home from college for the weekend next week!

5. Acro Yoga

I joined the acro yoga club at my school, and it’s challenging but so fun! For those who don’t know, acro yoga is basically yoga with a partner. You do poses together, most of which involve balancing (here are pictures of me doing it in Guatemala this past spring). The club meets every Sunday outside in a field for two hours to practice, from 2-4 PM.

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Here’s some of the acro yoga squad doing “throne” pose. I’m the third to the right (in the navy tank top), just chilling on my friend’s feet.

That’s what I’ve been loving lately! What about you? Favorite tea lately? Favorite snack? Let me know!

Have a safe and fun weekend! I’ll be back on Sunday with a fall cookie recipe. 🙂

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What I’ve Been Eating in College (Collab)

Happy Monday!

I can’t believe that today marks the beginning of my FOURTH week of college. I’ve been here for almost a month already! How insane is that?! As you can tell, I can’t get over it.

Today I thought it’d be fun to share with you WHAT exactly I’ve been eating since I’ve been in college and am no longer cooking my own mealsdsc_0022

This post is a collaboration with my friend Stephanie of “Petite Pastels,” aka like the cutest lifestyle blog EVER.

Stephanie and I met this spring on Instagram of all places after she commented on one of my posts and we found out that she watched me play against her friends at high school tennis regionals (awkward)!! We also found out that we go to the same college, and we immediately connected over our blogs and our love of food/ tennis/ our college!! It turns out that she also lived in the same dorm freshman year that I’m living in now and we played on rival tennis teams (but possibly played in the same group tennis lessons). WHAT a small world. Anyway, Stephanie and I have been messaging on Instagram since May, and finally earlier this month she suggested we meet up in real life and do a blog post together (to which I said HECK YES!!!).

Stephanie and I met up this past Friday for dinner at the dining hall next to my dorm and had fun taking pictures of and eating dorm food (while people sitting by us hard-core judged us for being basic and taking pictures of our food). It was so fun to talk about blogging and tennis and all things “college” with her.

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For dinner, Stephanie got fries, hummus, tabbouleh, cantaloupe, and cooked broccoli. I got a giant salad (mixed greens, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cooked beets, & a corn medley) and hummus, tabbouleh, and quinoa. What I like about the cafeteria we went to was that they have a “mediterranean” section every day with pita, hummus, tabbouleh, and quinoa.

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I live next to the “healthiest” cafeteria on campus, so that’s great. I’m not sure it’s the healthiest caf, but it does have a decent amount of salad and fruit. Every dining hall has menus each day that show dietary labels, so I can easily stay vegan as long as I stick to the certified vegan options. I’ve been eating a LOT of salad and fruit, which I like… we’ll see how I feel though once winter comes and all I’ll want will be ALL THE CARBS.

I’ve stayed vegan since I’ve been at college- it’s actually been pretty easy thanks to the dining hall selections! I eat every meal in the dining hall, unless I wake up late and miss part of my class so I have to literally jump out of my (lofted) bed and grab a Lärabar to eat as I bike to class… not that that’s happened or anything. 😉

For breakfast, I eat…

  1. cereal with soy milk or almond milk (right now I’m obsessed with Kashi Go Lean Crunch) and fruit
  2. oatmeal with peanut butter and banana slices mixed into it
  3. Silk nondairy yogurt and MSU baker’s granola (picture #3)

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Typically we eat out of real bowls with real silverware but lately we’ve been using disposable plates and utensils because the caf is understaffed and has no one to do dishes.

For lunch, I eat fruit and…

  1. salad: my go-to is hummus with spinach, carrots, raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, beets, and chickpeas
  2. fries [sometimes]
  3. rice and stir-fried veggies (when it’s served)
  4. quinoa, an apple with peanut butter, and carrots
  5. hummus, tabbouleh, carrots, and pita
  6. the soup of the day if it’s vegan. Today it was a hearty lentil stew that was pretty good (lentils, rice, veggies, and a little bit of broth). I’ve also had tomato wild rice soup and spicy Mexican tortilla soup.img_4332img_4335

Lunch from a few days ago: I got a salad with spinach, hummus, green beans, and carrots + grapes + spicy mexican soup + french fries. My friend Emily got mashed potatoes and gravy, spicy soup, fries, hummus, pita, and tabbouleh. 

I eat basically the same food as lunch for dinner.

A few days ago I had a super good tofu/ snap pea/ mushroom/ soy sauce stir-fry with quinoa and steamed cauliflower though!

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Snack-wise, I eat fruit from the caf or enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up in my room of chai tea and chocolate chips.

There are no vegan dessert options which is TRAGIC but hey, at least I won’t gain the freshman fifteen because of dessert??

However, a few days ago I made cookies in my microwave so I could have dessert (recipe will be on the blog later this week). Plus, some of my friends’ dorms have community kitchens that I can bake in… so I’ll get dessert somehow eventually. As of right now I’ve just been eating chocolate in my room (what’s new).

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So there’s what I’ve been eating! What have YOU been eating (whether you’re in college or not!)? I’m feeling pretty healthy and don’t think I’ve gained any weight because of all the exercise I’m doing, from walking around campus to biking to classes to running with the running club.


I’m so happy I got to collaborate on this post with Stephanie- be SURE to check out what she eats in college!! Her post will be a little different than mine because she lives in a house with a kitchen and can therefore make her own food.

Have a wonderful start to your week!

xx Ellie

Lavender Lemon Bread

lemonlavenderbreadRemember that lavender recipe I promised you last week? Well here it is!

My mom and I purchased some cooking lavender to bake with when we road tripped to a lavender farm earlier this summer.100_8603When we were at the farm, my mom got lemon lavender ice cream. She said it was super refreshing, and that ice cream inspired us to make this similarly flavored bread together. It’s a sweet, refreshing bread that’s perfect for a sugary breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up snack. I hope you love it as much as we did!img_3581

img_3574Lemon Lavender Bread

Makes 3 mini loaves or one large loaf

Inspired by this recipe

For the bread:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 flax egg (3 Tbsp flax seed meal + 1 Tbsp warm water)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from one small lemon)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the flax egg by combining the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl. Mix it together, cover it, and put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes to help it conglomerate.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) to a large bowl.
  4. Add in the milk, oil, and lemon juice to the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Add in the flax egg and whisk until combined.
  6. Mix in the lemon zest and lavender.
  7. Oil the bottom and sides of mini bread pans.
  8. Pour each bread pan 2/3s full with batter.
  9. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets.
  10. Let the bread cool for about an hour after taking it out of the oven before topping it with glaze.
  11. For the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice, water, and lemon zest together in a small bowl until smooth. Then drizzle the glaze over each loaf and ENJOY!img_4251

Enjoy the last week or two of summer (in name only, unfortunately) and enjoy this lemon bread!

xx Ellie

Summer Snapshots

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Guess what!? Today was my FIRST DAY of SCHOOL! And not just any school… college! I am attending Michigan State University this fall as a freshman.

I moved in this past Sunday, and have been getting settled in and ready for classes since. I’ve also been making friends of course! It’s strange being at college. Even though I went to two classes this morning, it still feels like summer… like I’m just at camp or orientation and will be home next week. But now “home” is university! I have a dorm room. I have a room mate (her name is Emma and she is super sweet!). I have a meal plan! Which means I don’t get to cook or bake my own food anymore, which is kind of strange. Some dorms have kitchens though, so I think I’ll have to find a friend in one of those dorms to bake with since I don’t have a kitchen in mine. 😉

Anyway, college is very different but pretty good so far. I felt kind of out of place the first night I moved in but it’s gotten better every day. Have you been to college before? If so, where and how was it??

Even though my school has started, it’s still TECHNICALLY summer so I though that today I’d share some snapshots from earlier in the summer with you. They relate to a recipe that I’ll be sharing on the blog this weekend. Key word: LAVENDER. 100_8647.jpgAt the end of July, my mom and I decided to take a mother/ daughter road trip to Brys Estate and their “Secret Garden,” aka a lavender and blueberry farm. It was a nice secluded location in the ring finger peninsula of Michigan (see map).


We walked around lavender fields, picked blueberries, and enjoyed refreshments– lavender lemon ice cream for my mom and lavender lemonade for me. It was a pleasant afternoon with my favorite person!

Here are the “summer snapshots” of the trip. Enjoy!100_8516

100_8531100_8621100_8657Above are pictures of some of the plants sold at the farm, as well of pictures of the lavender field. 100_8550.jpgWe packed a lunch of peanut butter &jELLIE to enjoy at one of the property’s many picnic tables.

You could cut your own lavender! We didn’t- we just enjoyed looking at it.

From top left, clockwise: 1) the inside of the secret garden’s store (white building in the third picture). 2 ) & 3) the store was stocked with goodies made from blueberry and lavender from the farm, like laundry satchels (2), lavender s’mores bundles, and blueberry jam (3). We bought some cooking lavender. 4) The store had specialty ice cream, made in northern Michigan, with their products in it. The lemon lavender ice cream my mom got had Secret Garden lavender in it!

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Above, enjoying lavender lemonade from the shop.

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My mom and I each picked a quart of beautiful blueberries- YUM!

100_8603100_8652.jpgCute quotes marked the ends of each lavender row. I loved them, especially this quote!100_8659100_8532An impromptu little photo shoot between the lavender rows with my mom! Miss you, momma!


I hope you have a wonderful end of the summer! If you are in school, or are teaching school, have you started? If not, when do you start back up again? See you this weekend for a lil’ lavender recipe! 🙂

xx Ellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Recap (part 2)

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Welcome to part two of my Chicago trip recap! PLEASE read part 1 of the trip HERE before continuing so you get the whole trip lowdown!

Okay so Chi-town part 2…

Saturday: 

**Today was the day that my friend Emily and I didn’t eat “real” (healthy) food for 24 hours. Because we’re almost adults and we can eat what we want!

I woke up and worked out in the hotel gym, then Emily and I sauntered over to Do-Rite Donuts to find- you guessed it- donuts! I got their only vegan donutlemon, and it was better than I expected! It was a baked donut, so it tasted like lemon cake. Yum. Emily got a vanilla bean glazed donut and a gluten free cinnamon donut.

We worked off our donuts afterwards by walking to the Maggie Daley Children’s Park, where we climbed up towers and slid down slides like the five year olds we are at heart.

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After that excursion, we ambled along the shoreline to Navy Pier, where we people-watched and enjoyed Ben & Jerry’s from the scoop shop. I got their VEGAN flavor, Peanut Butter & Cookies! It was to-die-for.

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Happy because of vegan ice cream!!

After that excursion, we walked back to Millenium Park and Emily saw “the bean” for the first time, a Chicago landmark and mirrored statue in the shape of a bean.

After we finished being touristy, we decided to shop some more and get a snack. I tried matcha iced tea for the first time at Argo Tea, which was quite refreshing.

Then we found dinner at a pizza place called Bar Toma that Emily heard was good. I asked if they had vegan options, and they said they could make their pizzas vegan by omitting the cheese on top. We split a small spinach & garlic pizza, but got half of it with cooked brussels sprout shavings instead of cheese for me.

IMG_2656The pizza was basically crust, a lemon zest/ garlic/ oil sauce, spinach, and brussels sprouts/ cheese. It was okay- it needed a lot more sauce. It was just what I needed at the time though, since before dinner I’d only eaten sweets the entire day. I literally hadn’t eaten a “healthy” meal since dinner the night before, which is a record for me! 

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and collapsed into bed. We walked a lot throughout the day- like 12 or more miles!

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One of the attractions we walked past was the beautiful Chicago river!

Sunday:

Sunday was the day I was most looking forward to throughout the trip, and it did not disappoint. I started the day with a workout, and then we walked over to Meli Café for brunch. I chose Meli because it had a full-page vegan menu, as well as many non-vegan items for Emily. I decided on the carrot coconut pancakes, which turned out to be fluffy, fresh, and cinnamon-y cakes of delight.

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Emily got the Eggs, Toast, & Potatoes breakfast, which was toast, two (“really good,” according to her) scrambled eggs, and baby red potatoes.

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No one ever sees the AFTERmath of the meal! I felt so accomplished and SO FULL after eating all the pancakes. 

After breakfast we went to the hotel, packed up our stuff, and went to Lolla. As soon as we got into the festival on Sunday, we high-tailed it to see all the bands below…

  • Låpsley– highlights were “Operator” and “Hurt Me.” She was okay live- there was a lot of technology involved in her performance (like a voice changer) which I didn’t like. Em and I were in the third row for this show which was cool.
  • Oh Wonder (OW), aka the most WONDERful band ever (see what I did there?)- highlights were “Dazzle,” “Without You,” “Landslide,” and “Technicolour Beat…” but I love all of their songs! Can you tell OW is my favorite band? This was my second time seeing them live. While they were amazing as always, I liked the first time I saw them better just because I was closer (third row!) and there was a talkback after the concert. Give them a listen because I love them- plus they are such cute and nice people.

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After this we got food. Em got a lot of ice cream and I got a popsicle for lunch. When in Chicago, right¿?

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  • We stumbled upon the tail end of Marian Hill and I immediately liked them. So good, so soulful, and so much saxophone. 😉 Highlight was “I Want You.” I recommend listening to the duo when you’re feeling funky.
  • Years & Years– another band we stumbled upon that I fell in love with. SUCH a fun concert with such great, soulful, poppy music! I recommend listening to “Desire” if you’re feeling upbeat or “Eyes Shut” if you want a slower song.
  • Halsey– I love Halsey’s music, so I loved this concert! She was fabulous live. Highlights include “Castle,” “Hold Me Down,” and “Blue.”
  • AURORA– I first discovered AURORA this winter, and have loved her ethereal, upbeat music ever since. I was so excited that I got to see her live since she lives in Norway. Song highlights include “Running with the Wolves” and “Conquerer.”

Dinner time! Emily got deep dish pizza and I got a SPICY black bean tamale and an apple.

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  • Flume (a famous DJ)- this concert was okay- I wouldn’t call it a true concert though because he (Flume) wasn’t singing! He was just DJ-ing with his computer. I like live music with actual singers much better. The music was fun to dance to, though.
  • Ellie Goulding– aka possibly my favorite concert I went to at Lolla. She was AMAZING LIVE- OMG. I liked her before seeing her thanks to hearing some of her more famous songs on the radio, but now I know more of her songs and LOVE her music and and her (did you know she’s vegan?)! I am proud to share my name with her. 😉 Song highlights for Ellie’s concert were “Army,” “Don’t Panic,” and “Aftertaste.”

After Lolla, we walked back to the hotel, ate some food, and went to bed. An overall good day.

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Us right before the Ellie Goulding concert started!

Monday:

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I got the only vegan donut from Stan’s Donuts and it was SO DANG GOOD. It was a yeast-raised ring topped with granulated sugar and it tasted like a Krsipy Kreme Donut. 

Monday morning I worked out (surprise), we packed up, ate donuts from Stan’s Donuts, and drove back up north with Emily’s mom. It was a boring day compared to the others.


I hope you had fun reading my little trip recap! It was strange but fun to be on a trip with no parents- just me and my best friend. Have you ever been to Lollapalooza or a music festival similar to it? Have you been to Chicago? Tell me all about it in the comments if so!

Thanks for reading- it means a lot!

xx Ellie

P.s.- I’ll be back on Friday for some summer snapshots, then on Sunday for a wonderful bread recipe you might have seen on my Instagram story. 😉 Yay for sneak peaks!

Chicago Recap (part 1)

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A few weeks ago I went to a music festival in Chicago called Lollapalooza! My BFF Emily and I spent two days at the festival and two days wandering around downtown Chicago.


Friends and I drove from northern Michigan to Chicago on Wednesday evening, then we spent the night at their house. We stopped at Panera Bread on the way, which surprisingly had a few vegan options! I ordered the Mediterranean salad minus cheese.

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Thursday:

We got up, ate breakfast (I brought pumpkin date scones), got ready, and went to day one of Lollapalooza!

Here’s what Lollapalooza, or Lolla for short, is like: lots of people, and therefore lots of good people-watching. Lots of smoke. Lots of alcohol (which we refrained from). Lots of noise, from people and from instruments. Lots of standing. Lots of food. It’s a festival of plenty.

We had to wait in line for about fifteen minutes to get our bags searched to get into the festival, and in line, we noticed people from all over the U.S., as well as multiple drunk people- and it was only 2 pm.

When we got into the festival, we scurried from one concert to the next. Emily and I saw…

  • Melanie Martinez– highlights were “Dollhouse” and “Cake.” She was great live! It was a wonderful concert with which to open my first festival experience*.I highly recommend listening to her upbeat, spunky music- keep in mind though that she does swear quite a bit.
  • Bastille– highlights were “Good Grief” and “Pompeii” (of course). We were pretty far away, but it was still fun to listen to this British band. They were also great live.

*It rained during the Melanie Martinez concert, then just as we were finally dry at the Bastille concert it POURED. If you go to a festival, be prepared for all weather! Here’s Emily and I right before we were poured upon at Bastille.

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  • Daughter– we didn’t stay too long at this one because even though I like Daughter, their music is pretty slow and not the best to jam out to… which is what we wanted to do. I prefer listening to their music in the winter or while I’m doing something pretty “low key,” like editing pictures.
  • The 1975– highlights were “The Sound,” “Chocolate,” and “She’s American.” The lead singer, Matty, had so much energy and was such a great performer as he was very expressive and good at singing live**! I recommend listening to their music- at any time.

**Oh yeah, we witnessed a random girl peeing in the middle of the crowd during the 1975 concert. She literally just lifted up her dress and started peeing in the grass while everyone around her stepped away from her as quickly as they could. Note to everyone at music festivals- if you have to pee, please either hold it or leave. We don’t want to watch you do your business. K thanks!! Below is the 1975 concert. 

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  • a random DJ, which was fun to dance (specifically dab) to. Do you have a favorite dance move? I love dabbing.
  • J. Cole- we didn’t know any of his songs… but it was basically just swear word after swear word. Haha.
  • Lana Del Ray– like Daughter, this was a slower concert so it wasn’t the best show to end the night on. However, it was fun to sing along to some of her well-known songs such as “Summertime Sadness” and “Young and Beautiful.”

After the festival, we went back to our friends’ house, ate some food (I’m surprised at how hungry I was post-concert), and went to bed.

By the way, the food at the concert was pretty tasty and reasonably priced (for a big city)! Emily and I split the BEST FRIES I’ve ever had in my entire life- (vegan!) Triple Truffle Fries from the Franks ‘n Dawgs food booth. Basically the best $6 ever spent.

I also got a $3 mango popsicle that was very fruity and good. I was super healthy on Thursday (NOT). Heh.

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Friday

We woke up and explored Bucktown, the Chicago neighborhood where our friends live. We stopped in a few shops and ate Miko’s Italian ice, which was quite good. I tried mango and strawberry, and the cold treat was very smooth and fruity.

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Then Emily and I took the “L” train downtown to a hotel since our friends were heading back up north. It started raining, so we spent the rest of the day eating food and wandering around shops (ZARA, Topshop, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Books-a-Million, Target, etc.). I also squeezed in a workout at the hotel.

We tried Native Foods Café, an entirely VEGAN CHAIN restaurant, for lunch thanks to a recommendation via Instagram. It was so nice to be able to pick whatever I wanted on the menu!!

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Our lunch experience was great. You go up to the counter and order like at fast food restaurants, but our food was delivered to our table unlike at fast food restaurants. The food was kind of expensive ($28 for 2 meals and a dessert to share), but the portions were HUGE and the food was healthy, vegan, and tasty so it was WORTH IT.

I got the Bangkok Curry Bowl because I was curious about the “tofu steak” advertised as being in it. While the tofu in the bowl didn’t end up being much like real steak, the meal was still good. The bowl, which was basically two servings, was full of steamed veggies, kale, brown rice, tofu, and coconut milk red curry.

Emily ordered the Thai Meaitball Bowl, Seitan “meatballs” tossed with mango-lime chili sauce on a bed of quinoa, kale, and other vegetables. Both meals were good, but I think next time I’ll try the soul bowl (fried “chicken” and beans, rice, veggies, ranch, BBQ sauce, and cornbread) or a burger.

For dessert, we split the peanut butter parfait, creamy peanut butter mousse topped with banana bread crumbles and chocolate chips. I have to recreate it because it was so good!

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It cleared up weather-wise right before dinner, so Emily and I decided to walk around downtown to find a good place to eat. Not the best idea. Moral of the story is to figure out where you want to eat beforehand. We walked for more than an HOUR and couldn’t find a restaurant we wanted to eat at, so we finally went back to the hotel and asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation. We ended up going to the Marq, a somewhat fancy restaurant about a block from our hotel, since we were tired of walking. Service was fast, which was good because we were hungry!

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Emily ordered the Mediterranean salad and I got the Watermelon Farro Salad (minus cheese) because I was curious as to how watermelon would taste in a salad. Answer? Good! The salad was quite refreshing as it consisted of farro, watermelon, corn, edamame, basil, and a sriracha lime vinaigrette. After dinner we went back to the hotel and crawled into bed so we’d be ready for another full day of adventure.


I’ll be back tomorrow morning with part two of my trip! I had to split the post into two parts because I take too many pictures and use too many words. 😉

xx Ellie