25 April 2014

Top Six Picks: March 2014

The Bar at Lula Cafe
Because I only have two months left to eat double orders of quesadilla's and drink cocktails at this beautiful marble bar with my dear friend Ben. This truly is our date spot. And what better location to celebrate our recent successes, than coming here for our favorite snacks, gossiping over cocktails and the din of music from the big beautiful speakers, speculating about our future exploits, and ordering bubbly to toast just to us. Even when Ben is settled in Charlottesville, I will come here and fondly remember the conversations had, the toasts made, and celebrate our friendship over my own quesadilla.
Lula Cafe's bar seating via the Chicago Tribune

In the last month or so, quinoa has become the anchor of my diet. Why is it so delicious, so filling, and so healthy? Seems too good to be true. I like to cook it in homemade vegetable broth with a cube of essence of mushroom (as I shall call it). It's pretty much all I want to eat these days.
Mmmm quinoa via the New York Times

Green Street Smoked Meats
Um, we now have Austin-style BBQ in Chicago. The set up is so totally no muss/no fuss, and the food is honestly amazing. Would I eat here everyday? Nay. But it's nice to know there's a place not too far from work that has a tub full of iced beer, BBQ brisket, and some of the best potato salad I have ever had.
I love the little lights in the rafters, makes it feel cozier  via Zagat

Lupita Nyong'o's Oscar Acceptance Speech 
Tell me you didn't want to simultaneously cry and smile at this beautiful woman's powerful words and the graceful way in which she carries herself. "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid." I mean, it doesn't get any better than that? Does it?

The Shamrock Shuffle / Running an 8K
And to piggyback on Lupita's good-vibes about dreams being valid, I crossed off one of my 2K14 goals, participating in the Shamrock Shuffle. Full disclosure: I did not know it was an 8K. I thought it was a 5K. But then when I learned the distinction after signing up, I said to myself, I can jog five miles. I can and I will. And I did! I wound up jogging for a majority of the time (woohoo, this being the girl who couldn't jog two blocks this summer), coming in at 1:01:53, which was a faster pace than my 5K in the fall. I also stopped to use the loo halfway through the race, so we could potentially shave off a minute from that number. Andrew was very supportive the entire time, cheering me on, carrying my jacket, and making sure I was hydrated the entire time. Sprinting through the finish line was one of the best accomplishments of my LIFE. 
I didn't realize this race was that big of a deal... via It's a Local Thing

The Martini
I finally found my drink, and I am obsessed. After a long day at work, or even while cleaning the apartment after our party, a martini just puts me exactly in the place I want to be.
I feel you, Lucile via StarCrush

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