Bald Head Island: A Gratitude Journal

Personal, Photo Diary, Travel

I recently returned from a week-long vacation on Bald Head Island. If you haven’t heard of this magical place, it’s a small island off the North Carolina coast. There are very few cars on the island (police vehicles, garbage trucks, maintenance, etc); everyone gets around on golf carts and bicycles. It’s a relaxed, slow-paced, wonderful place to be. And these are some of the things I miss the most:

entering the harbor on the ferry to BHI

Living on beach time. 

the coastscoping out beach houses

Listening to my body – napping whenever it felt right, guerrilla yoga whenever I felt like it.

beach and ocean inspired decor

Beach reads. Gratitude journaling. Coffee. A little trio of perfection.

latte, gratitude journal, beach book

Daily ice cream runs. Duh.

key lime pie and meyer lemon cardamom ice cream sandwiches

chewy, creamy, refreshing, and decadent ice cream sandwiches!

Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Investigating jumping fish and discovering the cause of their jumping: a pod of dolphins making their way by! Throw in some tiny shark sightings and you’ve got a perfect day!

rolling clouds over the atlantic

sunglasses and beach hair

Creating amateur beach art.

heart-shaped seashell mosaic

Contributing to and partaking in delicious food.

green smoothie, breakfast wrap with black beans and quinoa

The coolest wildlife. Everywhere you look.

the smallest lizard I've ever seen

our local golf course  swamp gator

Stumbling upon a sea turtle nest excavation on our last night on the island. Unfortunately, most of these shots came out quite blurry. Baby sea turtles are squirmy little things, after all.

freshly excavated baby sea turtle 3 baby sea turtles squirming in the sand baby sea turtles struggling through the sand out to sea

Night after night of incredible sunset after incredible sunset. 

sun setting over the atlantic oceanAnd of course, spending the week having super cool conversations with amazing people. Miss you all already. xx

A reflection of the Chicago skyline in the kidney bean

Chicago Photo Diary

Personal, Photo Diary, Restaurant Review, Travel

A few weeks ago, I attended a yoga intensive (run by Eat Breathe Thrive, definitely worth checking out!) in Chicago with my beloved buddy, Saar. We had a wicked time, so I put together this photo diary to share some of the adventures we got up to!

Since we were to spend our trip trapped inside for the better part of the weekend, we made sure to dedicate Friday to wandering the city. We took the Metra into downtown Chicago on Friday morning, and immediately set off in search of food (two foodies/nutritionists, what do you expect?).

The Metra pulling into Lake Forest Station

Star-shaped detailing over a freeway in downtown Chicago

the Union Station sign in downtown Chicago

Before we left, I had done a search of healthy food options in the city, and it wasn’t long before we happened across one of them – ‘Protein Bar’, where I picked up a ‘Millenium Perk’ (chocolate protein, espresso protein, choice of milk, and house-made cocoa malt) to tide me over while we explored.

IMG_7064

Millennium Perk (Chocolate protein, espresso protein, choice of milk, and house-made cocoa malt)

The elevated Chicago transit system, criss-crossing through the downtown streetsI fell a bit in love with Chicago’s public transit system, particularly its somewhat industrial appearance. The L tracks crisscross all over the city, looking super cool. We traipsed through Millenium Park where we briefly listened to some majestic orchestral music (I think there may have been an orchestra practicing for an upcoming performance), tripped in and around the giant mirrored kidney bean (AKA. The Bean, or Cloud Gate), and slowly grew ravenous.

An adorable little vintage-looking van. It sold doughnuts!

An alley filled with fire escapes. Everywhere!

This giant red sculpture...Looks kind of like an abstract dinosaur

Highlights some of Chicago's beautiful skyline

The huge mirrored kidney bean in Millenium Park

I'm bent over backwards for an upsidedown reflection in the kidney bean!

The super cool and slightly hallucinogenic reflections underneath Cloud Gate

A reflection of the Chicago skyline in the kidney bean

The Chicago skyline reflected in the mirrored kidney bean; looks like it is in a raindrop!

Huge and beautiful magenta flowers

Saar was practically falling over when we decided to find some lunch. Pretty much everyone we encountered over the course of the day were so friendly and we were soon directed to another one of the restaurants I had looked up that morning, a vegan joint called Native Foods. We both loved it there. I had a spicy tortilla soup, a huge glass of lavender lemonade (I have to try to recreate this…it was SO good), and a giant refreshing ‘Ensalada Azteca Salad’ which was jam-packed with cilantro (my kryptonite). After lunch, we did a bit more wandering through the city before hopping back on the Metra to attend the first night of the intensive.

The entrance to Native Foods

A bowl of tortilla soup garnished with strips of tortilla bread and cilantro

Fresh avocado, jicama and cucumber salsa atop quinoa, romaine and our award winning mango-lime vinaigrette. Topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro

Our way home at the end of the weekend was another adventure all on it’s own; a misadventure, shall we call it? As we were heading through Michigan, the area was hit with a major rainstorm and consequently crazy flooding. They began closing off all the major freeways in the area, and this eventually led to us spending 24 hours in a car.

Water starts pouring over concrete barrier on the side of the highway

Flooding beneath an overpass

We exited the freeway in Detroit and spent about 4 hours in a grocery store parking lot wolfing down our few remaining road trip snacks (popcorn, an avocado stuffed with the last of our salsa), and watching the hilarious documentary ‘Kumaré’. At some point in the middle of the night, after unsuccessfully trying to get some sleep, we figured out a route to get us to freeways that had cleared up and got back on the road. Although Saar doesn’t drive, she was fully committed to staying up with me and keeping me awake and alive. What a trooper. I got home very early that morning and was too wired to stay asleep for very long, and for some reason felt compelled to go to a yoga class. This was a goofy decision; I spent most of the class deliriously giggling at everything my instructor said.

Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’m sending tons of love to those communities affected by the flooding. I hope that they are well on their way to rebuilding their homes and their lives.

More soon, xx.