Diaries Magazine

318: Chicago Haul

Posted on the 29 August 2015 by Lizb12 @elizabethbrinks

318: Chicago Haul
Good afternoon-as it's about four minutes to noon right now. I was all ready to get up at nine, and to be fair, I did open my eyes at 9:15am-but the blankets were oh so cosy and I was still feeling quite exhausted from yesterday.
"What was yesterday?" you might ask:
C H I C A G O !
I was invited by a friend to join him and a group heading down to Chi-town to sort of celebrate the last days of summer-so naturally we went shopping.
As you can tell by the photo-I didn't exactly hit up every store we stopped at. However the entire day, which I feel compelled to mention started at exactly 4:25am when we all got up to drive down to the Windy City and drew to a close around 2:30pm, was wonderful! A member of our group had never been to the city before, and we thoroughly enjoyed showing her around and explaining the to-be's and not-to-be's of city life.
318: Chicago Haul Onto the haul: I have done quite poorly at properly preparing (say that five-times fast) myself for my senior year, I still need another locker organizer and my usual go to of magnets, pens, pencils, new pencil pouch etc. As for clothes-I was simply planning on wearing my ten-too-many tank-tops with my Wal-mart bought skinny jeans and some cardigans. Needless to say, this would've worked, except for my Wisconsin temperature reality check this past week. That thermometer sunk down to 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) and I begrudgingly realized how under prepared I was.
Anyways, my mind was set on tracking down some basics for this coming school year-colors I look good in, wear often, but-NO GRAPHIC T-SHIRTS-I have an unhealthy attraction to them, and this gives me a rather unprofessional air. Something my personality doesn't need any help with.
So, at H&M (I visited a ton of these stores in Italy, I'd never been to one in the U.S. before-it was like coming back to a little part of Italy, except all the ads are in English), I got a hold of a lovely burgundy sweatshirt (not knit or crotchet, but not a hoodie either) for $9.99 (did I mention that I'm also rather cheap?). H&M also had this fantastic sale of "2 for $10" with their "basic tees", so I grabbed black and forest green-I was wishing I had also grabbed the gray and white! I honestly regret not buying four-because they were all the neutrals and jewel tones, meaning to say my entire closet and color wheel!
318: Chicago Haul
As you can probably tell by the amount of bags above-I didn't get very many items either. I could've shopped all day in Forever 21 (both 21's, Rue and Forever are some of my top brands) but I settled for this off gray cardigan (for $8.90 ). I grabbed it because most of my cardigans are navy blue-which is fine, except for the fact that I wear a lot of navy blue shirts and jeans-call me picky, but that's just a little too matchy matchy. I'm also in love with Forever 21's accessory department-I love to see what they've got going for ear cuffs, headbands, hats ( I don't buy as many anymore...I'm still hooked on beanies) and their earring selections in general. I'm big on having my clothing and jewelry jump out at me-something I notice and say, "Wow-why don't I already own this?".  318: Chicago Haul
These little feather earrings  did just that.They're simple, silver ( I have a couple rules for jewelry that I buy-and one of them is only silver things-not superstitious, I just don't like gold) and have a lovely Pirate,Robin-Hood, Peter Pan feel to them that I noticed immediately. They were also very reasonable, considering that we were in Chicago, in a big name store-$2.90 for something I fell in love with at first sight? That's a deal!
I'm excited about everything I've got, but I think the feather earrings were the most exciting thing for myself, personally. Basic wardrobe necessities are important-and I'm trying to step up my level of basic (previously skinny jeans, graphic Tee and sweatshirt) by investing in simple, mature and semi-professional things. Of course, right now I'm being rather hypocritical as I'm sitting here in sweatpants and an old "State Solo Ensemble" T-shirt from 2014. Hey-we've all got our own fight to fight.

318: Chicago Haul

My quite empty Pesto pasta dish at "The Cheesecake Factory"

I would also like to give a shout out to all of the exemplary food I had yesterday. Being vegetarian doesn't have to be difficult-but I always try to be considerate when I'm in a group of people that aren't. Fortunately-I had no trouble! We ate lunch at "The Cheesecake Factory" (to DIE for) and I had a pasta dish with pesto sauce topped with tomatoes and asparagus. I was ravenous and finished the entire dish, minus a few tomatoes ( tomatoes along with zucchini are in season right now, and considering all the cooking I've been doing, I've been eating quite a lot of tomatoes). And for supper, we stopped in the capital at Panera ( My FAVORITE quick, but deliciously good for you, "fast-food"). They also had an excellent "You pick two" deal, and I chose (always trying new things)  1/2 of their Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, a 1/2 salad of their Caesar (can be served with chicken-but all their salads can be made without) and a bag of potato chips. The salad was exquisite and I loved the spicy yet sweet Greek taste of the sandwich. Additionally, Panera is very vegetarian friendly (their salads can also be vegan friendly, but unfortunately I don't believe any of their bread/pasta is egg-free) I've never had a bad meal there, and the service is always impeccable.
And last but not least: I simply want to mention that if you are considering vegetarianism, even if for a brief amount of time, that it's no about fantasizing about all the foods you can't have, but about exploring other options for what you can. Get creative-try some new recipes (I highly recommend typing "Vegetarian" and "Recipes" into the Pinterest search bar, it'll blow your mind!)-and don't be afraid of trying something you might not like. It's better to be able to say "I tried", than to simply say "I won't".
And that doesn't strictly apply to vegetarianism or veganism. ;)
If you want to see more posts like this, "Hauls" or my recommendations on restaurants, let me know which ones!
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Thank you so much for reading,

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