Link Love

May 30, 2016

Link Love

Spending my 3 day weekend cleaning and doing nothing. Much needed. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend yourselves!


Link Love

May 16, 2016

Link LoveHappy Sunday evening, all. Had a super busy Sunday celebrating my baby sister’s college graduation. Last girl in the fam to graduate. Pretty BFD. So yay her! This next week is going to be another busy one. Praying for sunny skies because these grey clouds have got me like, um, no thanks. Basically, let’s all kill it this week okay? Get our shit together and whatnot. Also, if you follow me on Snapchat, don’t mind the major Panda vibes I threw down earlier today. It’s just such a catchy song and I have to imagine Snapchat designed that filter with Desiigner’s song in mind.


Ridiculously Tasty Grilled Cheese That’s Stupid Simple to Make

May 13, 2016

I’m from Wisconsin, so you can’t kill me when I say I love my cheese.

Is it good to consume a lot of cheese? No. Is cheese good for you? No. Is it tasty as hell? YASS.

not so average grilled cheeseSo every now and then OF COURSE I’m going to indulge. But when one (me) has been granted the magic of grilled cheese for the majority of one’s life, one develops a certain palette and wishes for a little extra oomph to differentiate an adult grilled cheese from its childhood equivalent.

Are you still following me? Isn’t this whole “one” thing fun!?

not so average grilled cheeseOkay, enough of the teasing. Time to get down to busyness.

Sometimes you need a taste of nostalgia! Yet you’re basically grown now so Kraft singles is no longer an acceptable option (and really, was it ever?). Which is why I created this beauty.

You know I’ve made/shared a simple grilled cheese before. But then my body was like, “Surprise! You’re now allergic to avocados!” So I had to personally nix that recipe on the double.

But you want to know what I love about this new recipe? Parts of it are actually kind of still healthy. Kind of.

Sure, we already established that cheese isn’t really the best thing to be consuming in mass quantities. However, the other ingredients aren’t too shabby. Check it:

Grass-fed butter

  • It’s loaded with Vitamin K, which “de-calcifies your arteries.”
  • It’s a great source of butyrate, which helps fight inflammation.
  • Countries where people consume grass-fed butter? Yeah, there’s a dramatic decrease of heart disease.
// source

Sourdough bread

  • Personal note: You know how my stomach is basically a hot mess? Well sourdough is basically the only bread that doesn’t send my stomach spiraling off in some terrible direction. And this is probably why…
  • Sourdough is easier for the body to digest because 1) lactic acids make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body. And 2) the gluten in sourdough is more digestible.
  • Doesn’t cause spikes in insulin.
// source

Just feast your eyes and then go make one! I swear it’s stupid simple. Seriously. I honestly don’t think it’s worthy of a digital “recipe card,” but why the hell not.

Ridiculously Tasty Grilled Cheese That's Stupid Simple to Make
It's easy. It's good. And it meets the judgeyness of your adult palette.
Recipe type: Dinner
  • Fresh/homemade sourdough bread
  • Smoked gouda (I used Trader Joe's slices of Smoked Gouda)
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Grass-fed butter
  1. If bread isn't sliced, slice two pieces and apply grass-fed butter to one side of each piece of bread.
  2. Put a bit of of grass-fed butter into the pan. Or more...or less...depending on your mood.
  3. Place one piece of bread--butter side down--into the pan. Layer gouda and cheddar cheese. Place the second piece of toast on top, butter side up. Wait till bread is golden brown and cheese is melting, then flip until other side is golden brown.
  4. Enjoy!

not so average grilled cheese


What I’m Reading | May 2016

May 11, 2016

MustRead | May 2016If you haven’t gotten the drift, I haven’t had a lot of time/energy/focus to get a lot of reading done. And honestly, I hate myself for that. I love reading, but I always go through bouts where I won’t read for a month or so, and right now…I’m going through one of those periods. So bear with me, because many of these books are ones I’ve already mentioned, but I’m still reading them…

  1. Gang Leader for a Day: I’m obsessed with this book. In case you missed my last few book thoughts (where I’m basically still reading the books I’m currently mentioning), it’s about how a sociology student embeds himself into the Black Kings. I could never be a sociologist or psychologist, but why or how people do what they do is so fascinating to me. And how environment plays into that? Oh, the trifecta. Did I mention this nonfiction piece takes place in Chicago? Um, it does.
  2. Come As You Are: Love reading a variety of books and this definitely is a random one about…wait for it…the female orgasm. Ah, now you get the title right? Haven’t read too much yet, but I’m excited to learn more. Science can be fun when it’s, fun.
  3. The Goldfinch: Naming this one PURELY so I will annoy myself enough to finish it. Pretty sure I’m going on year two of trying to read and complete this book. Any recos out there? Anyone? Bueller?
  4. Rising Strong: I’m a new Brene Brown convert, so I was super excited to get this book. I’m a few chapters in and liking it so far but…we’ll see what I get out of it.

In case you were wondering, yes I read all these books at the same time. It kind of goes along with my personality of trying to fit way too much into a small amount of time. Plus, I get distracted or want to read a non-fiction book when I’m reading a fiction one (or visa versa), so it’s an easy way to cover all my bases at one time.

I’ll update you if I *ever* pause an episode of Shahs of Sunset and do my mind some good by finishing one of these books. Jury’s still out right now…


Link Love

May 8, 2016


Happy Mother’s Day! We’re having a beautiful weekend here in Chicago. Which means, lots of long trips to the dog park and excuses to just stay out and enjoy the warm weather, regardless of how earlier or late it is. Hope all your weekends have been equally as incredible and that you enjoy a #blessed day with your Mom.

  • This has me beaming smiles. Love.
  • All the animal cuddles.
  • Massie wants to make me get back into Game of Thrones. Should I?
  • Ugh, so cute. Please, can we save all the elephants and all the animals of the world?
  • Love artist series interview? Check out this video.
  • I’m a die-hard popcorn addict, but it’s (of course) best to always make and pop your own popcorn, which is why I’m loving these recipes.
  • Obsessed with Kristen Bell even more now that she is talking openly about her anxiety and depression issues. Hero status right thur.
  • Thought-provoking piece on Beyonce’s Lemonade.
  • Love having smoothies (especially ones with dates) for breakfast. May give this recipe a try post-workout.
  • Fighting some pretty bad allergies this season (painful headaches, sore throat), but hopefully one of these home remedies will help.

What I’m Watching This Month

May 4, 2016

Wow. It’s been a minute, huh guys?

I definitely didn’t plan on having a one month hiatus, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re stressed out, road tripping with your friend, your dog’s tearing up your couch, your probiotics made you sick and lethargic and your diet/exercise is all out of whack.

Why don’t they talk about this in books or blogs?

“You make time for what you want. Get up early or stay up late. Give up this, this and this. HUSTLE.”

I get it bitch, but how!? If it’s between a fun side project and much-needed sleep, I’m sorry, but I’m going with the Z’s. If I give up that sleep, the next day I can barely function and it becomes a terrible cycle where I’m too tired to workout, eat healthy or even write well.

So I’ll be honest, the past few weeks I chose sleep. Not that I don’t love this blog, but…sleep. It had to happen.

Anyway, that’s me being honest. So now you know if I disappear, it’s not because I dont’ love my blog–it’s just so I don’t break down crying from fatigue (of course, even if I’m taking a break from blogging, you can usually still find me snapping or Instagramming my heart out @midwestlovefest).

That all said, I think it’s time to get back to a bit of normalcy on this ol’ thing. Starting with my favorite…what I’m watching this month!

Watch to Watch This MayAll the shows are back people! I announce, every show is back. Basically. So I’m watching all the things this month.

  1. Keeping up with the Kardashians: (?) Jury is still out on whether this season will be any good (since it just started a few days ago), but have to say this is one of my guiltiest pleasures. And I fully own the fact that I probably contribute to their success by watching, but whatever. It’s a nice break from reality.
  2. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills: (3/5) Season 2 also started Sunday (following the Kardashians, if you’re curious), but still not 100% sure if the show has any staying power. Again, I watch it because it’s kind of insane (interesting? terrifying?) to see how the 1% live and behave.
  3. Shahs of Sunset: (3/5) On the whole “escape from reality” note, this reality show is another guilty pleasure. When it first came out a few years ago, I thought I would hate it. It didn’t even seem like they were doing anything worth watching, but somehow…you can’t look away.

Watch to Watch This May

  1. Silicon Valley: (4/5) Ryan got me hooked on this a few months back and we finally got all caught up, just in time for the release of season 3 last week. I have a very, um, hard sense of humor to nail, but this show gets close. It also gives me all the feels for San Fran, in an odd sort of way.
  2. VEEP: (5/5) Now this show nails my humor. The writing is incredible. It’s so quick-witted, smart and funny. I only wish they were hour-long episodes.
  3. Southern Charm: (4/5) Are you catching onto a theme with my penchant for watching terrible reality tv? I seriously can’t help it! I just love peeking inside the “realities” of different lives and lifestyles.
  4. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta: (3/5) So I’m giving this a 3 because the “acting” is terrible. I say acting because it doesn’t get more like a “scripted reality tv show” than the Love & Hip Hop series. If you watch my snaps, you know what I mean. That said, it’s kind of like a train wreck–you can’t look away.
  5. Teen Mom 2: (5/5) There will always be a place in my heart for the Teen Mom/16 & Pregnant series (that doesn’t sound too creepy, huh?).
  6. Real World: Go Big or Go Home(2.5/5) This year’s housemates are a bit obnoxious. I can’t tell if I feel bad for the racist girl or I’m irritated with her. Anyway, I’m too curious–I have to know how the whole thing ends–but I think Real World may need to call it quits soon. 31 seasons? Just, put a fork in it soon.

What show are you all watching this month? Anything I should look out for?


Link Love

May 2, 2016

Link Love

Guys. I did it. I meal prepped and planned FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. Yeah, sure, it took the entire day. But damn, it was…or…I hope it will be worth it. Since last week was a bit of a hectic mess, I’m hoping this meal prepping will set the tone for a productive, “zen” week ahead. Hope you all had a lovely weekend and a productive week ahead too!


Link Love

April 24, 2016

Chicago in the Springtime | Link LoveBeen a chill weekend for me thus far. If you follow me on Snap (@midwestlovefest), you know I basically just read magazines and had a low key dinner with friends last night. And even though I was productive yesterday, today I want to step it up a level, but…t’will be hard when it’s supposed to get in the 60s here in Chicago. Whatever you’re doing though, go out and enjoy your last April weekend!


Link Love

April 18, 2016

link love In North Carolina with some friends, heading home tomorrow. Sleepy AF and totally out of the Internet loop. Both a good and bad thing. Good to have a break for me. Bad because the links here aren’t my A-game, and I’m fully admitting that. Enjoy!