Monique on a hike

OMG I’m moving to Chicago + photos of my life lately (LOTS OF FOOD)

I’m moving to Chicago! Check out some of my favorite places around the city, delicious restaurants, and a life update about my big move.

Chicago river

Longest post title ever? Yup. Not sure I care though because it’s exactly what sums up this blog post.

Yes, OMG I’m actually moving. I don’t think it really hit me until last night when I was packing up my dishes. I’ve gone through so many life changes over the past 3 months that I don’t even know where to begin. This is kind of a brain dump of words, so I apologize in advance.

I knew about 6 months ago that I wanted to quit my job. I felt myself becoming more unhappy by the day and like I mentioned earlier, knew I just needed a change in my life. I wasn’t really planning on leaving until November, but decided one day in August that enough was enough. All I needed was a little faith in myself.

After quitting, there were decisions that quickly needed to be made regarding my living situation. My apartment lease was up in November and didn’t have the desire to live in Minneapolis any longer; I’ve been here my entire life! So in August I took a trip to Chicago to visit one of my best friends and to explore the city.

Monique and Megan in Chicago

We had such a lovely time shopping, going out and celebrating her birthday. Chicago really is beautiful. To me it feels like a bigger Minneapolis. Still a nice midwestern feel, but just with more things to do.

Since Tony lives in Chicago in the off season, it was an easy decision for me to make to live there. Here are some photos of what I’ve done around the city…

Walked basically everywhere. I love how accessible the city is. I’m probably going to need to sell my car because I have a feeling I’ll never use it. Gosh, that’s going to be weird.

Monique and Megan at a restaurant

I’ve gone to quite a few delicious restaurants including Mercadito, Lou Malnatis, Gyro on the Spit, The Squared Circle and probably some others that I’m forgetting.  They were all really good, although I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Lou’s deep dish pizza. I really need to check out some of the other famous pizza places before I can name a favorite.

Egg scramble with fruit on a plate

Of course, I’m a HUGE fan of breakfast and brunch. Here’s a delicious egg white scramble from Yolk. For me, I love simple, healthy breakfasts that don’t make me feel overly full. Eggs, toast, veggies, fruit. I’m all about that and this was just perfect. It’s pretty difficult to eat healthy while traveling but it’s really about the choices you make.

Monique at a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM

I had the chance to visit the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM because helllloooo cupcakes! Have you been to one?

Three donuts in a box

Oh and doughnuts! Omg for some reason I’ve rediscovered my love for big fat doughnuts. I heard about Glazed and Infused in Lincoln Park and knew I had to visit. I got three doughnuts for Tony and I to sample: Pineapple Coconut, White Chocolate Cranberry and Pumpkin Pecan. My favorite was the pineapple coconut – mmmmmm.

I’ve heard there are quite a few doughnut shops around the area so I’ll need to check those out too. I figure if I walk a mile and back to the location, I burn off a doughnut.

Monique and Tony at an arcade

After I went to grab doughnuts, I found Tony at the bar watching the Bear’s game. I surprised him with doughnuts then he took me to a fun Beercade (beer + arcade place) where we played old games like Mortal Kombat and pinball. It was so much fun.

Monique and Tony at a concert

Searching for an apartment wasn’t fun at all, but somehow I found an adorable one that’s pet friendly, has hardwood floors and a dishwasher! I’ll be moving in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago in early November.

In between all of my apartment hunting, Tony and I went to see the Fink concert (photo above). Honestly it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to!

Monique hiking

Tony and I also celebrated our 1 year anniversary together. He brought me to a National Park in Illinois and we hiked all day long. Of course I needed snacks…

Three Quest Bars

I stocked up on Quest Bars before we left. Honestly these things are my absolute favorite snack/treat. The flavors are amazing. I just rediscovered white chocolate raspberry but my usual favorite is double chocolate chunk.

A tree near a lake

We hiked for about 4 hours. The weather was gorgeous and we got lucky that it wasn’t too chilly yet.

Tony next to a TV

I got Tony a TV and he LOVED it. Obviously.

Monique and Tony at a bar

Anyway we’ve really enjoyed our time together over the past year and so a big hug and kiss to my lovely boyfriend. Thanks for eating all of the food I make and for always making me feel special. You’re a gem and I feel so lucky!

Gone Girl book

Anyway enough sappy stuff. Let’s talk about what else I’ve been up to.

Hmmm well I finally finished Gone Girl and then saw the movie. I thought that both were really good although I will admit it’s probably the worst date movie you could ever go to. Also, a little bit scary.

Next, I’ve really have been baking and cooking quite a bit. So I’m just going to throw a bunch of food pics at you with random descriptions.

Holding a chocolate chip cookie

These cookies are coming to the blog soon!

Eggs, sweet potato, and avocado on a plate

I made a Spanish breakfast for Tony.

Apple crisp with a spoon in a glass tray

This apple crisp = omg.

Trader Joe's toasted coconut pancake mix

Sounds delicious!

Nine chocolate chip muffins on a white background

I can never have enough muffins. Better yet, healthy muffins!

Stack of sweet potato pancakes on a plate

Sweet potato pancakes with chai spices. Yes, you really should.

Three eggs frying in a pan

Everyday.

French toast cooking on a skillet

Mini french toasts!

Pumpkin chocolate chip zucchini bread

Best bread I’ve ever made.

Pizza from Pizzeria Lola

Pizza from Pizzeria Lola, my favorite pizza place in Minnesota.

Eight chocolate chip cookies on a baking tray

Made these bad boys for a photoshoot. OMG they were ridiculous.

Holding a chocolate chip muffin

Skinny banana muffins! With chocolate chips. Please try them.

Mac and Cheese in a bowl next to a spoon

Lactose free mac and cheese that‘s uber creamy and delicious. Plus it only takes 15 minutes!

Monique holding a kitten

Last but not least, a baby kitty! I’ve been obsessed with visiting the animal humane society. Soon I’ll be picking one out and I can’t wait!

Hope you guys enjoyed a little glimpse into my life lately. Thank you for all of your support and love over the past few years. I’m excited for this new journey of my life in Chicago.

xo!

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

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