Thursday, May 30, 2019

How to Spend 3 Days in Chicago

I just recently traveled to Chicago, Illinois!
I have always wanted to visit the Windy City (in the summer, because who likes -30-degree temperatures and many feet of snow?) but I have not gotten the chance until now!
I brought the sunshine and warm weather with me from New York for my week in Chi-Town.

Thursday 5/23
I walked eight miles my first day in Chi-Town. I saw it all! We started off at the River Walk, a brand new beautifully landscaped and designed seating and bar space along the Chicago River.

I then walked to Millennium Park, where I saw the infamous Bean. 

J.Crew Factory chambray shirt | American Eagle tall jeggings | Tory Burch double pearl earrings | Tory Burch gold logo bangle | J.Crew Factory New York pink and white scarf (similar) | Rocksbox Aster dawn ring | Ray-Ban tortoise shell Wayfarers | Sperry classic boat shoes | Tory Burch pink satchel

We took a beautiful walk along Lake Michigan, until stopping at the third largest fountain in the world, Buckingham Fountain.

Shedd Aquarium was the next stop on our adventure around town. My mom said I had to go see the aquarium. I do not even remember the last time I was at an aquarium, so it was a nice change of pace. The tickets were $40 a person, which was outrageously expensive to see some fish and some jumping dolphins. I would not recommend. Rather, we should have gone to the Chicago Art Institute, but maybe next time.

The best views in the city are from the grassy area between the Shedd Aquarium and the planetarium. 

Later we took an $8 water taxi from the aquarium to Navy Pier which put us on route for dinner at 312 Chicago. A delicious Italian restaurant that I found on OpenTable.
I have never picked a bad restaurant with Open Table regardless of what city or country I am in.

Friday 5/24
Let’s go Cubbies!
We took the “EL” or elevated train, or for New Yorkers, an elevated subway, right into Wrigley Ville, the home of Wrigley Field.
It is clear that only people under the age of 30 live in Wrigley Ville. It is a hip and trendy area of the city filled with bars and young college grads. Some of the town-houses outside of the green, 30,000 seat sized baseball park have roof top seating where Cubs fans can buy tickets to sit on top of these houses on bleachers and watch the game from the outfield. It was so cool.

The temperature and wind were chilly, which did not help our bitter loss to the Cleveland Reds.
But we were warmed by the sweet and friendly people inside the stadium.
The staff was so pleasant and was so smiley.
Our neighbors in our row were also so friendly and welcoming, I felt like the Cubs fans were my friends rather than strangers.
After every run, everyone would stand and high five each other. It was very cute and sure warmed me up.
So did the deep dish or “real” pizza I had at Giordano’s after nine innings. 
I thought New York had the best pizza in the world, and then that was confirmed when I tried deep dish.
Deep dish was almost like eating a big cheese, sauce and meat pie. It was delicious, but not my favorite.
I am glad I had the full Chicago experience with deep dish pizza, but I will stick to my cheese slice for $3 in New York.

Saturday 5/25
Saturday was probably my favorite day in the city. We walked the full length of the river walk, where I almost got swept away by the wind, before arriving at our architecture tour with Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour company.

By the time we got to the boat we were dripping in sweat.
Once the ship set sail, the Windy City cooled us off and gave us a bit too much sun while we learned about the city with the first skyscraper and former tallest building in the world, the Sears Tower.
Currently known as the Willis Tower, Sears Tower, is now the 17th tallest building in the world.
The architecture was beautiful, and I learned so much about the city.
I loved how all of the windows on each building reflected the sky and the clouds.
This tour was so interesting, and I would 10/10 recommend.

To cool off from the boat ride, we went and got some Ben & Jerry’s on Navy Pier. We got to see the beautiful skyline and had great views of the aqua colored lake.

Lake Michigan looks like it could be an ocean. It is so large you cannot even see the other side of it.

We walked along the other side of Navy Pier towards dinner and saw families and kids swimming and lounging by the lake.
Dinner was at Ditka’s, off of Michigan Avenue, the 5thAvenue of Chicago. Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears coach, or as I know him from Kicking and Screaming, the kid’s soccer movie starring Will Ferrell, is the proprietor of this restaurant. 

Chicago was absolutely beautiful (in the summer, not sure how pretty it can be in the winter)!
I am a city girl, so of course I loved this new city.
It was sparkling clean. Chicago is the best of both worlds, beach and city!
 I loved being near the water. 
Chicago is not that big of a city, so I felt like I got a really good taste for the Windy City in 72-hours.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Oversized Clothes: Dressing to Hide My Body

I have realized that I wear clothes that are too big for me.
Part of the reason is that I was a size larger in high school than I am now.
When I went to college, I worked out more than in high school, I was really careful about what I ate (for fear of the “freshman 15”) and I walked a ton. My boobs shrank in size as did the rest of my body.
Since freshman year of college, I have been the same size, but I continue to buy clothes that are too big for me (like these pants...)

I think I still thought for a while, that I was bigger than I was, which is sadly, what I have found, a normal thing for women to feel. I also was buying bigger clothes because I did not like the attention my body and my looks get from students around campus or from people on the streets of New York City. I also thought that there was no way that my best friends, who are way shorter than me, could be wearing the same size as me.

I consider myself to be a very confident person, but I am shy when I get complimented and am particularly shy and uncomfortable when I get creepy looks and comments from men. I have been “cat-called” too many times in New York, even when I was in business attire going to an interview or walking home from my internship last year. I like to buy big clothes to hide my body, so I do not get attention.

I am a pretty conservative dresser in general, as you can see.
When I go out at night, I usually wear something a bit more revealing or tight. As my friends would say, “definitely not T&P approved.” I like to keep the mystery alive for men during the day. I always shock my friends if I have black clothes on or anything that I would not deem appropriate to wear to class. Which is great! I love to keep people on their toes.

I have a beautiful body and I have realized I look larger than I am if I wear bigger clothes. Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear would be ashamed of some of my oversized clothing choices. I watched the show religiously for years in elementary and middle school. They always stressed the importance of extenuating your waist and wearing clothes that fit properly!

This past semester I really realized my buying trends and I have been selling some of my ill-fitting clothes on Poshmark! I love the platform. The app is super easy to use and a great way to make some extra money. It is also sustainable fashion and helps the environment!
You can sign up on Poshmark with the code: TALLANDPREPPY and get $10 towards a purchase of a gently worn item of clothing or accessory!
My username is @tallandpreppy if you want to buy any J.Crew items that are from a couple of seasons ago and are way too large on me.

I am upset that I have been forced into buying bigger clothes because of society. I am disappointed in myself that I have been negatively looking at my body for all these years. 
I am so glad I finally realized what I was doing.

I challenge you to take a look at how you treat your body and your body image and examine how you can make it positive so you can feel the most beautiful and confident in your own skin.
I challenge bystanders of cat-callers to shut cat-callers down. I challenge men and women to stop objectifying women in person and on social media.
I challenge women to stand up for ourselves against creepy men.
I also challenge all of us to be nicer to each other and to love ourselves and our bodies.

J.Crew white t-shirt | J.Crew Factory chambray culottes (similar) | Tory Burch pink satchel (similar) with bag strap from Venice (similar) | J.Crew multicolored earrings | RayBan tortoise shell Wayfarers | Jack Rogers Sandals in Pink


Friday, May 17, 2019

Hudson Yards and The Vessel

I am back in New York after finishing my junior year at Wake Forest University.

Wednesday afternoon was well spent with my two best friends in New York City!

Whenever we get together, usually twice a year, after the end of the school year and at Christmas, we love to explore the city and try a new restaurant!

I heard all about the new indoor mall, Hudson Yards by the Hudson River between 9thand 12thAve and between W38thSt. and W29thSt.

I had to go check it out. I also saw that the new art sculpture or tourist attraction, the Vessel was available to be climbed for free!
Click here to get your tickets! It was something new and different to discover.

We then walked to B&H Photo on the way over to dinner so I could purchase a new Canon lens!
The auto focus on my 18-55mm lens broke only after two years. It was upsetting because I loved that lens and it broke in the middle of our photoshoot on the quad at formal. But after taking over 30,000 pictures with the lens and taking it all over Europe with me, it was well worth all the money. 
I am very excited about my new lens purchase, Canon 18-135mm, and cannot wait to use it on my trip to Chicago next week!

After my early birthday present purchase, the three of us walked to 45thSt. between 5thand 6thfor Greek food! I found this delicious new restaurant on Open Table called Fournos Theophilos!
My friends and I talked for hours and I enjoyed my last real meal for a while before I got my four wisdom teeth removed the following morning!

Can’t wait for more adventures with these two this summer!

J.Crew Factory Oxford white button down  | American Eagle x4 jeggings in tall | Zara tweed blazer | J.Crew Factory black belt | Tory Burch gold double pearl studs | Tory Burch black and gold Reva ballet flats 


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Last Day of Class of Junior Year 2019

I can’t believe it; I finished my 3rd year of college!
I have 3 papers, 1 project and 1 take-home test before I leave Wake Forest for the summer and return home to New York. 
I will then officially be a college senior.

This semester I was in class for 70 days. 
A total of 14.5 credit hours a week.
6 classes.
About 217.5 hours of class in total. 
At least 400 or more hours of studying and doing homework this semester.
0 snow days.
2 chorus concerts.
3 field trips.
5 notebooks.
30 Pilates classes.
30 spin classes.
15 plays read for my English classes.
3,920,000 mL of water I consumed.
0 all nighters.
6 textbooks.
15 Kappa Delta chapter meetings.
1 5K run.
1 hike.
1 day in Charlotte.
1 night of karaoke.
27 blog posts plus this one, 28.

Too many laughs, too many tears, too many quad pictures and too many good conversations and times with my friends to count.

This semester was amazing. Still doesn’t top last semester in France, but I still had a ball!

2 more semesters and 1 more year to go before I am a Wake Forest University alum.

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