May
02

WELCOME to the beginning of what I’m calling The Chicago Series, an Ambitious Kitchen guide to the absolute best spots for food & entertaining in Chicago! This first guide came about because of my unprecedented love for donuts, coupled with a crazy good low key donut scene in Chicago.

Ever since moving here almost two years ago, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the amount of delicious donut shops. Each place specializing in their own unique take, from fat and yeasty to classic old fashioned with a twist. What could be better than starting the day with a donut, a cup of coffee and a sense of adventure? Not much.

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Apr
30

Here we are again! Another month has passed us by. Isn’t it crazy how fast 2016 seems to be going?

This month has been crazy work wise, and I’m fairly certain the next is going to be the same thing. That’s alright though, I’m looking forward to a few fun travel trips and warm weather. Anyway, this month was full of delicious things. Rose and I started on the Chicago Series and we spent time hitting up wayy too many doughnut places around the city. The guide should hit the blog on Monday and I’m SO dang excited about it. Every few weeks I’ll release a new guide! But donuts and pizza are definitely first.

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Apr
29

Can you believe that it’s almost May?! What is happening and where on earth does the time go? That makes me sound like I’m much older, but seriously. We moved into our apartment in October of last year and it still feels like it was almost yesterday. I finally just finished decorating my office and now we’re starting on our bedroom. Thus I stalk Pinterest like a crazy MF.

P.S. Outside of food, I feel like I could 100% be a home/lifestyle blogger.

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Apr
28

The other day I was thinking about how different my eating has been since two years ago. I’ve discovered this amazing accomplishment of balance and clean focused eating in my diet. I’ve stayed away from the extremes of overeating and undereating and somehow just seem to be in this happy place. Before I would conceptualize what it would feel like to enjoy the benefits of eating wholesome, nutritious foods while still enjoying a burger or a giant chocolate chip cookie every now and then. It seemed so distant. Now my feet are in the place I wished I always could be; it feels like a wonderful, significant achievement.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are several things I’ve done to find this balance. One of them was nourishing my body with nutritious food every few hours. The second was prepping meals and snack ahead of time. The third was always making sure to enjoy a treat every now and then, because life’s too short not to. We’re never going to be perfect eaters. Perhaps the perfection in eating, is choosing balance? Food for thought, I suppose.

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Apr
26

Hi Spring. So nice of you to finally arrive and warm my bones.

When you’re from the Midwest, you know that there’s a huge discrepancy from when the calendar says it’s officially spring to when it actually gets warm out. Some years it just goes from Winter to Summer in the span of a week.

This Spring has been kind though, it’s been warm and beautiful here in Chicago for a few weeks now. In fact, I just started running outside again and have already made it up to 5 miles. Another plus is that I beat my average pace from Fall, which is AWESOME. Unfortunately, ever since I had to quit yoga because of my neck and back issues, I find my hip flexors and butt to be extremely tight after running. I do roll both out, but clearly need to find other stretches to help me. Suggestions welcome and appreciated!

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Apr
25

How was your weekend? I went on an adventure to Home Depot so I could pick up a few pegs to hold up my newly painted office bookshelf. While at the HD, I got asked a total of 14 times if I needed help. Seriously, I started counting because around every corner there was a man with a bright orange apron approaching me. I’m not sure if it’s because I was wandering around with a lost look on my face or if it was because they have wonderful customer service. Maybe both?

Another great discovery is that they serve popcorn at my local Chicago HD store. It got me thinking that they should really start serving more comfort foods similar to Costco. Maybe some of this quinoa mac and cheese? I’d be shopping at HD errrrrrday.

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Apr
22

All of a sudden I have this urge to bake a cherry pie this weekend. Why? Well I’m sitting here noshing on a Trader Joe’s broccoli & kale salad with plenty of dried cherries. I almost forgot how much I love cherries and their slightly tart flavor. Cue all cherry cravings.

Unfortunately pie baking won’t be happening as most of you know via my Instagram & Snapchat that I’ve been sampling Chicago doughnuts all week for the Chicago Series. HALPPPPP ME.

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Apr
20

Fun fact: I’m half Puerto Rican. I grew up on a mostly vegetarian diet, enjoying my Mother’s Spanish inspired cuisine whenever I could. Each week, she’d make a big batch of slow cooked puerto rican rice and beans, fried plantains, pozole and empanadas. Our food always seemed different then my friends, and I never understood why they didn’t have enchiladas at Thanksgiving until I was much older.

Dad, on the other hand, was very much into comfort food. Each Sunday, we’d sit down and enjoy a big batch of Dad’s fried chicken, sweet corn, the creamiest mashed potatoes and if we were lucky, soft rolls. Sometimes green beans were included too. Oh and cake! There was always cake or pie for dessert; usually yellow cake with rich, thick chocolate buttercream or my Grandma’s favorite creamy lemon meringue pie. Yes we loved, loved, loved our sweets.

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Apr
18

How was your weekend, friends? It seems like Spring finally decided to come out over the weekend and I’m feeling extra joyful because of it.

On Saturday, Tony and I went consignment and resale store shopping. I spotted a mid century modern bookshelf for $60 and knew immediately I had to have it for my office! I’m trying to best to get organized, so having a bookshelf for photography props and books is a must. I opted to paint the bookshelf white and it turned out absolutely stunning. I’m very, very excited to show you my office makeover (hopefully soon!).

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Apr
15

First I want to start off weekend favorite by saying that if you’re not following me on Snapchat, you should! Yesterday was all about doughnuts, but a lot of times I’ll share recipes, fitness motivation and more! Today I’m planning on making a delicious baked oatmeal recipe via Snapchat (that will also be on the blog on Monday) so be sure to stop by to see it in action. Also Milly makes plenty of appearances.

Anyway what’s new with you? Are you following the debates? My cab driver had a 5 minute convo about who he was voting for yesterday. Sometimes you can’t do anything but nod and listen. You feel me?

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