Life Lately

Hi friends, 

Okay, so I guess this is counting as my Thursday/Friday blog post. 😂 Sorry for being off my a-game this week. 

How are you? I am tired. If we’re being honest I haven’t been feeling super creative this week, so today we’re throwing it back to a Life Lately post! I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time, so I hope you enjoy this little roundup. Here’s what’s been happening behind the scenes lately. (Hint…a lot of cooking and eating. 😂) 

I woke up at 4am the other day because I forgot to take my CBD the night before. 🙈 But the silver lining is that the sunrise was absolutely STUNNING. It was so nice to sip my coffee and take in the view! 

I got to reunite with my Larkin girls!!! I’ve missed them so much. We played “the Frozen fishing game,” ate apples and peanut butter, and reviewed lots of dinosaur flash cards. It was the best! 

Helmet, Jeans, Sneakers, Old leather jacket (but ABLE makes a great similar one! Use JESSKEYS for 20% off!) ABLE convertible belt bag (the best! Full review coming soon! Use JESSKEYS for 20% off!) 

I GOT A NEW BIKE!! From the cutest shop! 

We had a mishap with my beloved beach cruiser earlier this summer, and for my birthday, Neal was determined to find me a newer and better one. He did some research and discovered BFF bikes, which is a women-owned, women-focused (but man friendly!) bike shop in Bucktown! They were able to help him order this Public Bikes Beach Cruiser (same brand as my old one.) It was back-ordered for a couple months but it finally came in and I’m SO HAPPY with it! It could not be cuter and they couldn’t have been nicer! If you’re in Chicago and want to support an awesome local company, I highly recommend them! 

I have been reading so many Ruth Reichl books over the past few months and they are just– LOVELY. The best books for any food lover. I can equate reading them to eating a bowl of delicious soup–warm and comforting. I’m currently reading My Kitchen Year, and Ruth described a steak sandwich she made (she always shares her recipes!) and it inspired me to do the same. I love a good steak sandwich, and hers is so simple! You can read how she prepares it here

ABLE “Mae” tee and neck scarf 

ABLE is a new-to-me brand that I have recently fallen in love with. The company started when the founders met women in Ethiopia who were coming out of the commercial sex industry, looking for help finding jobs. They trained them to make scarves, and it took off–now they make jewelry, leather goods, and clothing, all with the mission of lifting women all over the world out of poverty.

I recently connected with Hannah on their team and she offered to send me a few items to try out, and this tee is my latest obsession. I got it in both white and black–they’re drapey (and great for tying) and so, so soft. (And not see through!) They’re SO GOOD. And wearing clothes from such an awesome brand makes me feel good, too! ☺️

A couple weeks back, Neal took a huge test he’s been studying really hard for (it’s called the CAIA, it’s a financial designation). He had to take it downtown, which was the perfect excuse for me to meet him in the Gold Coast to celebrate after! We got lunch at Gibson’s on the patio–they’ve closed down the triangle so all the restaurants can spill into the street to accommodate more socially distanced tables–it’s so cute and so fun! Highly recommend going to check it out before it gets cold! 

One of my favorite breakfasts–a hard boiled egg drizzled with olive oil, microwaved for a few seconds (you have to use low heat–not high, otherwise they’ll pop!) just enough to get them warm–sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. It’s SO GOOD. Fresh tomatoes and avocado on the side. (WIth more olive oil drizzle, of course). My friend Luca has an Italian imports company and sells this olive oil on Amazon. It’s so delicious, authentic, and peppery and transports me back to Italy for a microsecond. (Comes in a set of 2 big bottles–makes such a great gift too!) 

Barbour jacket (similar), Madewell sweater (TTS), Madewell jeans (size up), Similar vest, Neal’s flannel 

Neal surprised me with a little aperitivo picnic in the park and even let me pick a spot by the dog park so we could watch the dogs playing. 😂 

Sneakers, Wine yetis, Old blanket 

I bought some peaches at the farmers market that turned out pretty bleh, so I decided to splash them with some bourbon, cinnamon and brown sugar, microwave them until they got all syrupy and spoon them over ice cream, and it was a very good idea! (P.S. I adore these little ice cream dishes–they’re–wait for it, $1.95 each from Crate and Barrel!) 

Snapped this on my latest walk through Humboldt Park! One of my favorite places, and it was such a gorgeous, fall day! 

I bought numerous copies of the DARLING children’s book, “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” to give as gifts for baby showers. This is hands-down one of my favorite children’s books and I know you will love it too. It’s about a bunny who lives with his Grandpa, Mike Pence. 😂 (Yep, that one.) One day, Marlon falls in love with another boy bunny–and the story unfolds. It will make parents giggle and teach kids the importance of acceptance, loving who you are and whoever you want. As the description says, it’s “dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.” I think the fly would approve. 

I’d seen an Italian soup recipe floating around Pinterest with Italian sausage and kale and I decided to put my own spin on it! (You can see a version of the original recipe here!) Instead of potatoes though, I used mini penne pasta and it was SO good. (I also omitted the bacon!) Highly recommend!! Also, my OurPlace bowls make the best soup bowls! (Use code JESSKEYS for $10 off!) 

On me: ABLE tee(use code JESSKEYS for 20% off!) The same one I have in white that I won’t stop raving about! It’s such a nice tee and SO soft!) Madewell Jeans, Freda Salvador Mules, Vo hoop earings. Claire V crossbody (honestly I love how it looks and I wear it all the time but I don’t think it’s worth the price. It hasn’t worn well!) On Neal: Outerknown pocket tee, Levi’s jeans, TOMS

Last Friday night! Soaking up the light sweater weather. (Or in Neal’s case, apparently, still summer weather. 😂) Taking mirror pictures before we go out became one of our traditions years ago. (I’m not sure how or why?!) Probably so we can look back when we’re old and remember that we were cool. Maybe one day I’ll print them all and put them in a scrapbook! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!