weekending: clemson edition

So I didn’t update my week that much last week because I caught a cold (I blame the airplane), and my days went: work, dinner(cereal), sleep, repeat.  I kept trying knock out the cold with Dayquil cold and flu plus fluids plus rest but it didn’t work out that great.  What did work out great was going to Clemson this weekend!  I ended up getting out of work later than usual on Friday, so I made an executive decision to get a good night’s sleep here before heading down Saturday morning.

We tailgated most of the day and enjoyed lots of food, drinks (including Serena’s amazing pumpkin shots), and finished the day cheering on our tigers to a win :)

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The weather was absolutely perfect and it was so fun seeing some of our friends from other states that we don’t get to see as often :)

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The game started at 7:30, and after watching it (and the Gamecocks lose on tv) we went to bed…we are officially old.  Apparently, drinking during the day doesn’t help colds (who knew?) so I woke up feeling like I backslid into sickness.  But, it was my friend’s Lauren’s birthday, so I took some Sudafed and helped her celebrate her Sunday Funday birthday.

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We started off with brunch and kept the party going all day through downtown Greenville.  I was so excited when my friend Samantha came to join the party for awhile (twinning was unintentional)

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Finally, the weekend wrapped up today when I made it back home to Charlotte.  After some errands and a nap (damn this cold), I packed my lunches for the week than caught up with y’all :)

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How was your weekend?  Is anyone else getting sick from these weather changes?  I hate it!

firecakes

After Sunda in Chicago, Sam realized we were right around the corner from a donut shop (Firecakes) that she had seen a gluten free sign at before.  Obviously we had to check it out.

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Immediately when you walk in it smells like heaven, and I was seriously hoping they really had a gluten free donut for me to try- I haven’t had a donut for years, way before I was diagnosed, but I think just knowing I can’t have one is super annoying.  Aka, I was more than ready to try a gluten free donut!

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All the flavors looked so so good, but the gluten free ones were on a little pedestal by themselves.  They were actually like a mini flour less chocolate lava cake with frosting so they were super rich.  I got one and Sam bought the honey glazed (her boyfriend refrained because he said “Nothing can compare to a hot and ready glazed”) and we set out to try our treats :)

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Verdict- my donut was delicious and did not taste gluten free at all (to me anyway).  Sam said the honey glazed is amazing too and would recommend it to anyone who loves glazed donuts.  So, you should definitely check out Firecakes if you’re in Chicago and craving a gluten free (or gluten full) donut, I loved it!

sunda

Our first night in Chicago, Sam and her boyfriend made reservations at Sunda, an Asian restaurant.  Sidenote- they were so incredibly thoughtful, and made sure everywhere we went had gluten free options for me :)  #truefriends

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The table started off with the Dynamite Sticks and Brussels Sprouts Salad while I just ordered the Pad Thai.  I am so so jealous that the salad was not on the GF menu because everyone was raving about how amazing it was; no joke, Sam and her boyfriend were talking it up pre-dinner and all during dinner too.

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After the appetizers, the group got the Pork Belly skewers to share, and again were a HUGE hit.  My Pad Thai was just meh (no spice, and let’s be real, I am obsessed with Basil’s) but everyone else loved their food so I wanted to share.  I think I would have liked something else, but the timing of dishes coming was off so I ate the Pad Thai.  To be fair, Lauren really liked the Pad Thai, it just wasn’t my favorite.  But, Sunda was a really fun restaurant with great atmosphere and their GF menu was gigantic, so I probably just needed to step a little bit further outside of my comfort zone :)  I would definitely recommend this restaurant again, in fact I told Julie next time she’s up there she should try it because I know she’d love it!

mas chicago

Some more Chicago recap coming your way, I know you’re excited ;)

After our late night on Friday, we needed some carbs to help us recover the next morning, so we headed to Sam’s favorite Chicago pizza place, Lou Malnati’s for lunch.

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We went to the Gold Coast location and started off with the HUGE Malnati Salad which we got family style and split it between the four of us.

IMG_4953Seriously, this salad was so so good.  We all kept going back for more, we just could not get enough.  Luckily for me, Lou Malnati’s had gluten free pizza in addition to their famous Chicago style deep dish pizza, so I was able to get some too! Lauren, Sam, and Sam’s boyfriend split a Chicago style while I worked on this little guy:

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So delicious :)  We headed to the Hancock tower after lunch to get drinks on the the 96th floor because it had started raining, and we’re fancy like that.


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We also had to show off our Chicago nail colors and of course our Clemson rings, duh.  Plus we took selfies in the bathroom because it had the best view- FYI this is a fact.  We were not the only ones.

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The rest of our day was spent cheering for our tigers as they gave the game away lost to FSU.

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After that disappointing loss, we called it a night and rested up for our last day in Chicago, which started with brunch.

IMG_4962Strawberry-watermelon mimosas? Yes please!

It started pouring during lunch and the temperature dropped probably  good 15-20 degrees, so we changed our plans of boat cruise/rent bikes/wander to find a bar and watch football and have drinks.  We amazingly stumbled upon a bar that offered BACON as their bar food instead of nuts/popcorn.  It was candied and delicious.

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When the rain finally cleared up, we walked up the Navy Pier and took advantage of the sun :)

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We wrapped up the entire weekend with some Chicago-style hot dogs (for everyone else, bun-less for me) before heading back south.

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Overall, I LOVED the trip and Chicago, and I cannot wait to go back!  I seriously loved the city way more than I thought I would and had so much fun :)  Planning our next girls’ trip is already in the works.

Have you been to Chicago?  Love it or hate it?

 

 

first day of fall!

It’s officially the first day of fall and Charlotte is definitely feeling fall-y; temperatures are so cool we turned off the air in our apartment and are loving having the windows open and the fresh air flowing through :)

It was drizzling earlier today so I took my run to the treadmill and did a slow 5k the loosen up after yesterday and I am so glad I did, my legs feel about 100% better.

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I spent the rest of the day running errands and baking since it’s fall!  I was trying to hold off on baking anything pumpkin until it got chillier, but ended up giving in to trying to make these apple chips and planned on making my favorite GF pumpkin muffins but was missing most of the ingredients- I WILL be making them later this week though!  I failed at the apple chips- I think they were too thick but I’ll try again, plus they made our apartment smell amazing!

Do you bake in fall?  Favorite recipe?

CHICAGO

Ahhh I am so excited to tell y’all about Chicago/sad it’s over, I loved it!  We did A LOT, so I’m breaking it up into smaller pieces so it’s less like a novel, k?

My friend Lauren drove to Charlotte on Thursday night so we could catch the late flight to Chicago after work.  A drink at the airport and a People magazine later, we were in the windy city!

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(obviously this picture is from Friday after we slept, it did NOT take us all night to get there, that’d have been miserable)

Our friend Sam greeted us with this cute sign plus goody bags with Chicago mugs, makeup bags, and Chicago-themed nail polish which we obviously had to use before heading out to explore ;)

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We spent the morning walking around Chicago and enjoying the great weather!  It was such a nice fall day, and not cold at all!

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We had to stop by the bean Cloud Gate for a photo op for sure.

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After, we grabbed a snack of sangria, chips, salsa, and guac to replenish our energy before heading back down Michigan Avenue for shopping :)

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We wandered around for a while before deciding no trip to Chicago could happen without going to Garrett’s for popcorn (also, Sam and her boyfriend are moving very soon and had yet to visit…how is that possible?!)

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Plus, they had an awesome selfie taker to entertain you while waiting in line, which we definitely took advantage of.

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Popcorn was followed by martini’s before grabbing dinner at Sunda.

IMG_4939Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures at dinner (martini’s and wine may have something to do with that), but I will be talking about it later because it was gluten free friendly, yay!  After dinner, we stopped by a donut store that had gluten free donuts to taste-test them (FYI it’s been years since I’ve had a donut).  It was chocolate and delicious :)

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We wrapped out night one at a dueling piano bar where we sang and danced like crazy (I definitely thought I was channeling Beyonce at some points) before heading home.

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8 miles and my sister is a culinary goddess

Sorry if the blog seems a little all over the place, I’m going to posting Chicago updates mixed in with my daily life, so it’s might be a little cray.

Lauren and I got back Sunday night right before midnight, and oh my goodness did it feel amazing to sleep in my own bed.  I don’t know what it is about traveling, but my own bed is always so much more appreciated after being away.  I woke up feeling refreshed and so much more relaxed, but also like I needed to move around, especially after all the drinking we did.  I called my mom to give her a run down of the weekend, and ended up walking 2 miles while we chatted.  BTW- the weather is perfect here right now :)

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After we hung up, I started running, and decided to do either 7 or 8 miles, and figured I’d decide when I got to that point.  Since I was near the course we take on the Monday night group runs, I decided to run in backwards and see how I felt.  Usually, when we run it forwards I think it’s hilly, but I’m pretty sure backwards is way hillier, and my hamstrings agree.   I ended up going with 8 slow miles, but felt pretty good at the end, so that was good, just a little salty :)  Also, no tummy troubles so yay for that too!

I ran some errands and unpacked while I waited for Julie to be done with school (we were having dinner together to catch each other up on our weekends). Random, but does anyone else feel like unless they unpack pretty much as soon as they get home, it takes forever to get done?  That’s definitely true for me, so I went ahead and got it done.

After Julie picked me up, we ran more errands before going to her apartment to cook dinner.  Julie decided to healthify sesame chicken AND make it gluten free AND make it spicy (I think this makes it General Tso?)  and it was pretty much amazing.   GF spicy sesame chicken + brown rice + brussels sprouts= amazing sister date dinner.

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We chatted and ate, and then Serena came over, and we continued until the food was all gone.  Basically a great Monday night.

What did you have a for dinner?