Perks of Parks in Madrid

Hey guys!

I’m writing this post from my couch in Chicago. But I was just in Spain where I was finally reunited with my best friend for a short three weeks over the holidays. While I was there, I completely fell in love with Retiro Park. Retiro is like the Central Park of Madrid. So its HUGE, and has so much going on.

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In the center of the park is a gorgeous man-made pond with rowboats people can rent by the hour. I opted out of taking one for a spin because I was alone. So instead I decided to plant myself next to a statue for some one-on-one time with my book, Sharp Objects (written by the same author as Gone Girl, and so so good).

Shannon came with me on my second trip to the park, and we got to see the Glass Palace, which is basically a huge building made of glass that looks so cool when the sun is shinning. The Glass Palace is owned by one of the huge art museums here in Madrid called the Reina Sophia (free with a student ID if you’re under 25!). When we went, they were featuring an American Horror Story fashioned trailer complete with beyond creepy music, a life size wax women, and way too many dancing puppets. Check out Shannon’s Vine here to get a better idea.

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After the Palacio de Cristal we wondered around some of the park, and were BOTH pooped on by a Spanish bird. Luckily, a super friendly Spanish couple was eager to help us and spent a solid five minutes cleaning it off us, and asking if we were okay (maybe that’s what they were saying, it didn’t take long for me to realize my 5 years studying spanish were pretty much useless).

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If you find yourself in Madrid, a day spent in Retiro is a day well spent (without actually spending any euros)!

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Sunshine & Samples

Summer in the city is off to a great start, minus this week of constant overcast. A few weekends back we forced ourselves out of bed and went to the farmers market in Lincoln Park! Chicago is full of markets, almost every neighborhood has their own (Logan Square’s market is next on our list). The absolute best thing about farmers markets are all the *free samples* If you love trying jams, cheeses, and other yummy treats, make sure you pull yourself out of bed early at least one Saturday this summer to check out any of the Chicago markets. Shannon and I both got purple asparagus, which was super fresh and delicious on the grill. Andy got a cherry tomato plant, which weaka I get all the free tomatoes I want this summer (these plants produce like crazy so you get the best bang for your buck!). Click here to find a farmers market in your neighborhood!   FarmersFinds.jpg KLA.jpg SK SLband   *Alert: Dog lovers* The  second best thing to free samples are definitely all the pups at the market!

photo 2 (3) art Andy and I grilling our fresh and tasty food from the market! GrillingHow do you usually spend your Saturday mornings? kayla signiture

Fashion Friday: Kayla’s Summer Essentials

I am beyond excited to spend my second summer living in the city. Not only will I be here, but all my siblings will be too *excited shriek* !!! This summer I will be interning downtown, so my summer essentials are for both work and play!

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1. J. Crew iPhone Case 2. Target Coral Cardigan 3. Kindle Fire HD 4. Forever 21 Statement Earrings 5. Clubmaster by Ray-Ban 6. Michael Kors Wedges

 

1. I actually bought this phone case last weekend at the outlet mall in Aurora. I was telling my sibs how I really wanted a new case that was covered in pineapples to channel the summer spirit  AND THERE IT WAS! It must have been meant to be (also it was 50% off, so *extra yay*)!

2. Between the two of us, I’m pretty sure we own around a thousand cardigans. This coral cardi is perfect for summer nights and is a great pop of color to brighten any outfit!

3. I’m pretty sure I have been eyeing this tablet for more than a few months, I just haven’t made the final purchase. I’ll be commuting to work everyday this summer via the CTA, so it would be perfect to have a Kindle that I could easily transport everyday! Maybe I can justify buying this guy by using it for work,school, and play!

4. Statement earrings are a must for summer. With the hot (fingers crossed) weather I will be sporting my hair up most days, and these earrings are the perfect accessory to spice up a ponytail or bun!

5. Everyone needs the perfect pair of sunnies for summer! Unfortunately, I have a terrible track record with losing/breaking mine so I try to stick to shades under $20. But these Clubmasters from Ray-Ban would definitely be my first pick if I was going to splurge.

6. These wedges have stolen my heart. Being short, wedges give me the perfect chance to get a few inches off the ground. I might not be getting this exact pair, but I am on the prowl for a similar style to rock day or night all summer long.

What are some things you have your eye on for summer?

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Shannon and Kayla’s Christmas Wish Lists

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With Black Friday just around the corner *yay* we thought it would be appropriate to make a little wish list for the holidays. We love the holidays (I know, super original) and we don’t think we’ve ever been more excited for Thanksgiving than we are this year. Shannon hasn’t stayed a night at our house since July, and we haven’t seen each other in nearly six weeks! We are also hosting our FOURTH annual Friendsgiving with our high school favorites. Needless to say, we are ready to pig out on tasty treats, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy,play card games, and shop our little hearts out.

When thinking about possible gifts we would appreciate this year, we couldn’t help but think of the basics. As our styles becomes more concrete, and we get older (We turn 21 in 3 weeks. Cue: jumping for joy) we can’t help but want some staple items that we can wear a lot.

Our lists highlight how alike and different our tastes are! Cant wait to see what this holiday season has in store.

What’s on your Holiday wish list?

*disclaimer: I don’t want a bright pink watch, but I loved the face and leather band. I’m much more of a brown leather kind of girl.

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I Don’t Know About You – But Logi is 22

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Last weekend Logan and I went to Madison to celebrate his birthday. He’s pretty much an old man because he’s 22… We like to plan surprise dates for one another, so I had a blast planning this weekend for him. I was super happy that every part of my plan worked out perfectly!

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Our first stop was Capital Tap Haus. I picked it because Logan is borderline obsessed with beer and this place had awesome reviews. It was also super close to our second stop. P.S. this place has amazing zucchini fries.

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The second stop: Comedy on State was the main event! It’s this little comedy club that features three comedians. The setup was interesting because you sit with people you don’t know. We sat with two strangers who clearly did not enjoy the show. Their unhappy reactions to the jokes made the night even funnier. We thought the comedians were really great. I recommend this place to anyone who likes to laugh, so like everyone ever. The tickets were super cheap, and if it’s your birthday you get free entry, a glass, and two tickets for a future show!

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We stayed over night so we could have two days of fun! The first thing we did was stop by Ancora coffee shop to get our caffeine fix (Logan and I are major caffeine addicts). They had some amazing roasts to choose from, but we both settled on the Black and Tan, and it was awesome. After we got some coffee, we went to the Capitol Square Farmer’s Market! My favorite part of a Wisconsin farmer’s market is the abundance of free cheese samples. Logan and I got some spaghetti squash and a giant sweet potato which we made into a delicious dinner later that night.

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After roaming the farmer’s market, we went to Marigold Cafe for brunch and it was super tasty. It was kind of a weird set up. Right when you walked in you ordered your food at a counter and then you had to wait for a table to open up. Regardless, the breakfast was delish.

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After brunch we wandered down State street going in and out of niche stores, my favorite. We looked at lots of little trinkets that everyone wants, but no one needs. We may or may not have settled my fro-yo addiction more than once that weekend. Overall, it was a great trip and a wonderful birthday celebration!

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SkyRise Chicago 2013

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This morning I was lucky enough to be able to be part of the SkyRise Chicago race, which consists of racing to the top of the Willis (Sears) tower. 103 flights up to the top of the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Andy and I were able to take part because his aunt had two extra entries, how lucky are we! The race participants get donations to aid the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago that helps people rehabilitate after amputations, strokes, or other traumas. These individuals with bionic legs, or other physical disabilities take part in the climb and reach the top! It was so inspiring to see so many people overcoming obstacles to help give others the chance to do the same. Overall, it was a great event, for an even better cause.

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FLASHBACK: South Carolina

I never got a chance to share my amazing road trip this summer with my boyfriend, Andy. We stopped in Lexington, Kentucky, Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Nashville,Tennessee and Charleston, SC. It was an amazing week and definitely some of my favorite memories were made on this trip.

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First selfie of the trip! Getting started from Peru, IL

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First stop U of I in Champaign,IL

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A little over half way to South Carolina. Stopped and checked out Lexington, which was gorgeous. If you get the chance, make a trip down there.

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Salmon burger in Charleston, SC was amazing! Best fish I have ever had.

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Last day of brunch we went to Hominy Grill a MUST when visiting South Carolina!
Andy and I had a blast on our week getaway and were already planning our next trip we hope to take over spring break!

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