Dorm Room Snacks

Newsflash: Dorm food isn’t the best. So, here are my favorite ways to snack without breaking the bank + keeping the freshman fifteen as farrrrr away as possible.

Smoothie Bowls

smoothie bowls make the best filling snack!

I love blending up a frozen banana, a frozen avocado (so it’s super creamy) some peanut butter, greens, honey + almond milk as my base.

Then top with whatever your heart wants!! I usually do some Made Good granola bites + Dang Foods coconut chips!

One-Bite Charcuterie

listen, I have a thing for goat cheese. It stores well and makes everything ~luxurious~

I top some butter crackers with goat cheese, then add a slice of cured meat or fruit, and drizzle some honey + fresh cracked black pepper

Leftovers Salad

at the end of my week, I make a huge salad with everything left in my fridge

I love the “super foods” salad mix with swiss chard, baby spinach, and arugula! (It blends really nicely into smoothies too)

This salad is topped with crumbled goat chese, avo, cucumber, cured meat + coconut chips with a drizzle of a lemon basil dressing

one-pot pasta

This pasta is a game-changer + so easy

cook some bow tie pasta (you can do it in the microwave with chicken broth instead of water) then fold in cream cheese + mozzerella. Then I add some roasted chicken cut up into pieces, some spinach, and squeeze in some lemon

A few honorary mentions:

  • mini waffles with apple butter + peanut butter
  • avo toast
  • roasted chickpeas with everything bagel seasoning
  • fresh berries with dark chocolate

A Tale of Two Pizzas

Pizza. My first love. The most versatile of foods.

Here’s my picks of pizza in Champaign – the glorious + the greasy.

The Glorious – Pizzeria Antica

Wood fired margarita pizza is probably one of my favorite foods. This one is no exception. Their crust is the perfect balance of chewy + crispy, their sauce is exquisite, and their mozzarella is some of the best I’ve ever had. Drizzle some of their olive oil allllll over your pizza + devour it. You won’t regret it.


The Greasy – Papa Dell’s

Although this is farrrrr less appetizing than the first picture, this pizza is the real deal. This deep dish pizza is the perfect late-night snack loaded up with all the toppings. My go-tos are Italian sausage + black olives + oregano.


Both of these pizzas are perfect in their own fashion, so I would like to make it known that I love pizza in all shapes + sizes (even with pineapple on it). I can’t wait to find more perfect slices alllll over the Champaign-Urbana area.

Bloomington : Must Eat + Do List

Bloomington: my second college town. Since Hank’s school is there, our favorite thing to do is explore on the weekends. Here’s a list of the best of the best in Bloomington.


Kellers : The Ultimate Breakfast

Kellers straight up rocks. It takes being a diner to the fullest extent. This cash-only establishment has something for everyone. Cinnamon toast, burgers, biscuits and gravy, you name it – they have it. Bonus points for being able to get a full two-person feast for under $20, a college student’s dreaaam.


Miller Park

Miller park is the most lovely place for a walk or run. The ponds its trails surround are filled with little ducks and you can paddle boat on them in warm seasons. It’s a great little pit stop to get to know a little more about the history of Bloomington-Normal or to see the zoo.


Coffeehound

Houndmouth – my Goat Hill Coffee in Illinois. Their lattes are ridiculously good + their baristas are the most helpful I’ve ever met. Give ! Them ! A ! Try !


Anju Above

Not my greatest food photos, but the greatest food. Their steamed korean bbq pork buns are some of the best I’ve ever had. Their pork belly ramen is the CURE for a sore throat, and their fried wings and pizza are equally delish. The sushi-pizza-all-around-amazing restaurant is worth a try (or 10).


The Castle Theater

The Castle is a venue unlike any other. The most unique bands play there + they have bar stools with counters as their seating for GA which I love! They usually keep ticket prices + admission numbers low, so you truly get the best experience.

We saw Houndmouth and I can truly say it was one of THE BEST nights we’ve had in college.


Ancho + Agave

This place. UNREAL. Their street tacos are so unique in flavors, ranging from roasted sweet potato, to ground beef with queso, to crispy fish with a spicy jalepeno slaw. The massive burritos are insanely good + make the best leftovers. The ultimate must try, though, is their mac and cheese. This stuff is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. Listen. They make this with QUESO. And good is an understatement.


Illinois Wesleyan Art Gallery

My personal favorite spot for a quick date, this little gallery on campus has the most mesmerizing entryway (look at the first image). Each exhibit here is unique and creates such an engaging experience.

Kansas, but make it fashion

“Hi! I’m Elle and I’m from Kansas.”

The first two months at U of I, this felt like my catch phrase. So, when I found out that we were having a barn dance, my full blown Kansan came out. In true cowgirl fashion, I threw on my boots and overalls and got ready to two-step the night away.

These Madewell overalls + floral bandana were perfect for an update to the typical cowgirl attire while leaving plenty of room to stay warm and comfortable.

Champaign : The Must Eat List

Picking my college was decided by 80% education + 20% the food close to campus. That being said, here are the restaurants that are worth choosing your college over. (I’m kidding … don’t pick your college entirely on food)


Naya

Listen : The owner of Naya + its sister restaurants is a GENIUS. Each one has its’ own unique asian-inspired menu. While Sakanaya + Miga are wonderful in their own ways, Naya takes the cake. Its asian-italian small plates are perfectly constructed, from the beautiful burrata dishes to the bulgogi cream pasta. It’s a must try if you’re ever in the area.


Just Bee Acai

Here’s the thing about Just Bee, you can’t go wrong. This little yellow shasta has truly made me get excited about eating my fruits and veggies. Their acai bowls are perfectly topped with the most tasty toppings from sweet to savory. Their seasonal toasts are the best surprise + always use the most ~in season~ flavors. Last but not least, their drinks are my favorite before class treat. They also ROCK because if you bring one of their reusable mason jars / coconut bowls, they’ll give you 10% off. Just Bee, I ! LOVE ! YOU !


Hopscotch

If you’re looking for the cutest bakery//market, look no further. Hopscotch covers all the bases, from its boho-warm-neutrals vibes to the insanely good coffee and pastries, there’s something for everyone. Their unique supply of goods in their market place pull from local vendors, as well as special pieces from alll over, and make the best gifts for anyone you love.


Everyday + Clever Moose

Hear me out, this is the BEST place for a cold day in Champaign. The Clever Moose is a coffee/juice/anything you could want eatery. It gives off ski lodge vibes in the best way possible and makes you want to cozy up and stay for hours. Everyday Cafe next to it is just as amazing, and their better-than-home-cooked dishes make the Champaign never ending winter feel almost worth it. Both of them have their roasted tomato soup + it’s a MUST HAVE ! ! !

washington dc packing guide

The city that truly has it all requires a perfect wardrobe. I’m here to make sure you have it.

Here’s the thing with DC, you have to be prepared for anything that it might throw at you. So, there’s a few basics to ensure that you’re ready. Let’s go!

THE BASICS

listen, DC in November is cold. So, layers are everyyyything. Here are the layering basics to ensure a picture perfect outfit ready to go from day to night.

THE SCARF – pack a fun patterned scarf that’ll both add to your outfit + keep you warm. It’s a win-win

THE BOOTS – winter is cold, but just because it’s cold doesn’t mean there aren’t cute options. These Sorell boots are waterproof, warm + comfy.

THE TIGHTS – pick a fun pair + run with it

THE DRESS – perfect proof of how great a simple LBD can be + transitional from day to night

THE SWEATER – turtlenecks truly fix all problems, including the cold. pop one on under a dress + stay comfy and cozy allll day

pro tip : keep fun warm pieces for an update to winter wardrobe

Kate Spade + Asos have great winter pieces that are super versatile

WARM + CUTE

like I’ve said, I am a wimp about the cold but would rather freeze than be on vacay in a not-insta-worthy outfit. This one tackles both + I love it for that.

THE SCRUNCHIE – the best way to fix a windy day is a low pony or messy bun with a cute scrunchie. This one is from Anthropologie!

THE SKIRT – this skirt is the best. It travels well + holds its pleats. Most importantly, it’s flowy enough to hide the thermal leggings on underneath it!

THE TURTLENECK – this simple turtleneck bodysuit is so functional + can be dressed up or down.

THE SHOES – these pom pom shoes have been with me for YEARS + make an outfit every time.

NIGHTTIME TURN AROUND

This little number is just the outfit above with a few warmer pieces on top!

THE PIECES – I added the cutest earmuffs + my go-to coat to transition into an outfit perfect for a walk along the wharf.