February Recap: Why the Heck I’ve Been Traveling so Much

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for the past month and a half you may be wondering why the heck I’ve been traveling so much. Every single weekend in February I’ve been in some random town in a different state. Simply put, I’m having the time of my life.

Saratoga Springs, New York: Chowderfest

February started off with a bang in Saratoga Springs for the annual Chowderfest. All of my college friends crawled their way back to where it all began. It was like a winterized college reunion with a plethora of delicious chowders. Gaffney’s and Sweet Mimi’s were my favorites this year. (Sweet Mimi’s is always my favorite dessert chowder).

Anaheim, California: Trade Show

The Monday after Chowderfest I flew to Anaheim, California for a medical trade show. During the week, I was able to play ping pong against a robot, eat Mexican food outside, and wake up to an amazing view. I even was able to try my first In-n-Out burger! It’s very similar to 5 Guy but you don’t feel like you’re dying after. The fries are nothing compared to 5 Guys though. I’m still missing this burrito bowl.

Norwalk, Connecticut: Valentine’s Day Celebration

Robert and I stuck our faces on every tank at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. We saw seals, sharks, turtles, otters, and so much more at this lovely place. It’s quite a hidden gem in Connecticut. I’ve been to Mystic a few times but I highly recommend this adorable aquarium to putts around in. Plus, you can get ice cream at Milkcraft after! Still dreaming of this heavenly s’mores cone.

Fayetteville, Arkansas: Family Visit

My father and I had a blast visiting my brother in Arkansas. I was able to see the first Walmart, an amazing American art museum, and my brother’s incredible brewery. I’m still blown away by how incredible this art museum was. Check out this post to see more of what I did in North Western Arkansas.

Jersey City, New Jersey: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The last full weekend of February, Robert and I became very patriotic and visited both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I have lived so close to the Statue of Liberty and have never seen it with my own eyes. It was such an incredible thing to see how far America has come. If you visit the Statue of Liberty from the Jersey side (there are ferries both from New York City and Jersey City) you can see the breathtaking skyline of Manhattan. It’s just never something you will get used to.

IMG_8668My travel favorites (and big sized toiletry favorites).

Since I’ve been traveling a lot, I visited good ole’ Target to stock up on travel toiletries. While I was there I also stocked up on normal toiletries… hey, a girl like me can’t resist. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to find more natural, eco-friendly products and companies. I was thrilled to find out Target has an entire section dedicated to natural products. I literally spent three hours just going through the two aisles.

Note one: I love the brand Shea Moisture and what they stand for but I hate this Daily Hydration Milk Mask. It had this odd burning sensation instead of a soothing feeling. The whole time I thought I was developing a rash. I wouldn’t recommend the facemask but would d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y recommend the facial moisturizer. It’s a lifesaver for the colder days.

Note two: I absolutely love the fresh smell of Tom’s natural deodorant, however, I was so sad to find out that it contains aluminum. For those who don’t know it is believed that daily doses of aluminum can cause breast cancer and Alzheimer. The whole reason I bought this new deodorant was because I knew Tom’s was a natural based deodorant. Other than the fact that it contains aluminum it’s a great product.

Favorite DIY Project: Graphic Tee Shirt and how to style it.

Is it cheating to say it’s my favorite DIY project of this month if it was my only one? Give me the benefit of the doubt… it’s been a busy month. But if I’m being honest I’ve been wanting to do this DIY for the longest time and it only took 15 minutes. If you’re bored one Sunday definitely give this easy DIY a try.

My favorite statement piece: This Pink Blazer

I literally keep reaching for this blazer and have no intention of stopping. I even stopped my Marshalls (again) to look for more blazers. Luckily for my wallet, I didn’t find anything as cute. But knowing me… I’ll probably be back there next week.

How was your February? What was the best thing you did in February? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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P.S. If you’re curious what March is going to bring check out my new About Me section. I’m really excited to start a new series very soon.

Chowderfest 2016

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to Chowderfest in Saratoga with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. For those who don’t know what Chowderfest is, it’s an annual chowder competition. Restaurants in Saratoga compete to win the title of best chowder. This year, there were 80 competitors. The way it works is you run around Saratoga, pay a dollar for the chowder, then a large man has to roll you to your car because you’re so full. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get the point. My belly ended up being filled up with tons and tons of chowder… I’m not complaining. Although they were all good, I had some favorites…

We went to Durthers first. It was a clear winner in my book. There was everything imaginable inside the chowder. Pulled pork, clams, corn, croutons, cheese, and probably a few more things I’m forgetting to name. We loved it so much we actually went back and bought another before we left.


After Druthers, we hopped on the next line to get The Stadium Cafe’s chowder. Their chowder was made with smoked apple cheddar, chicken, and prosciutto. I really liked this one as well. They gave you little oyster crackers to go with it.

We then crossed the street to get chipotle crumbled chowder at Boca Bistro. There was a good amount of oysters in the chowder, which was different from all the other chowders. Next to Boca Bistro, was a little juice bar offering free juice samples. They were interesting to say the least… I’m more of a smoothie/water girl myself.

We then turned the corner and went to get a ruben chowder at Bailey’s Cafe. The line moved pretty slow compared to the other three. The line was moving so slow that there was even a window in the tent that was offering beer. This was probably my least favorite chowder. The ratio of ruben to chowder was a little off in my cup. I got a giant chunk of ruben that I gladly gave to my brother.

Across the street was Park Side Eatery that was serving a tequila chowder with cactus in it. Definitely the most creative chowder at Chowderfest. I couldn’t taste the tequila in the chowder, but I did get a little cactus in my bowl. There was also big chucks of chicken in it, which was fantastic addition to the chowder. However, there wasn’t much flavor so I’d rate this second to last but ranks first in portion and creativity.

My friends brought me a Seven Horse chowder that was really creamy. I would love to tell you what was in it, but I really have no idea. All I know was that it was delicious.

We then went up the street more and got a cup from Hatties. They had corn bread chowder which consisted of a soupy chowder with a little nugget of corn bread. This one had a lot of flavor. I would rate Hattie’s chowder as a little above average… I think third on my list.

 

So, I’m not a huge fan on buffalo sauce. I’m just a wimp with spices, I guess. I feel like my roommate, Courtney, is trying to bring me to the dark side. Aside from that, we waited in line at Dangos for almost an hour to get their chicken wing chowder. It was seasoned with buffalo sauce, but I LOVED it. Four days later and I’m still thinking about it.


Overall, Chowderfest was a lovely time. My rankings based on chowder we tried:

  1. Druthers
  2. Dangos
  3. Hatties
  4. The Stadium Cafe
  5. Seven Horse
  6. Park Side Eatery
  7. Bailey’s Cafe

I’m already excited for next year to see what new kinds they’ll all make. It was very cold so if you decide to ever go to Chowderfest at Saratoga you might want to read my article on HerCampus on how to stay warm.

The funny part was that only one of the chowders we had won (Druthers). Here are the contestants that won:

People’s Choice: Gaffneys Restaurant, Southwest Shrimp & Grilled Corn Chowder with a Crab Popper Wonton
People’s Choice under 1,000 bowls: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Most Chowder Served: Druthers, Southwest Chowder
Best On Broadway: Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden
Best Off Broadway: West Side Stadium, Seafood Chowder with Clams, Crab, Corn, Potato topped with Fried Cornbread Stick
Best Non Downtown: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Best Newcomer: Carson’s Woodside Tavern, Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Soup
Best Dessert Chowder: TC Paris, Mini Tirami-sea Cupcake

Next year I’ll just have to try Gaffneys!

I hope this post didn’t make you too hungry! Do you like Chowder? Let me know in the comments if this made your mouth water a little bit!

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: A Week of Food

Hello darlings! Did you have the most wonderful week of ever? I feel like all I did this week was eat… and I’m okay with that.

During the week, Courtney and I cooked a meal together… we ended up setting off the fire alarm. We didn’t realize you can’t spray pam on an already hot pan. You live and you learn. At least our food came out looking pretty good.

 


(Note: if some of the chicken looks a little pink on the outside it’s because we used a raspberry marinate).

Saturday I went Chowderfest in Saratoga. I’ll be posting all of the delicious chowder pictures later this week. I went with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. We ended up meeting up with the majority of our friends and chowing down on the delicious chowder.

Since it was very cold, I wore two cardigans, a tank, a tank top sweater, and maroon pants. My feet froze a little bit but other than that I wasn’t too cold.

The Chowder from Druthers was my personal favorite. We loved it so much we went back for more!

Definitely come back this week so you can check out all my chowder pictures. I also have a outfit of the day post coming up that I’m incredibly excited about!

Today, Courtney and I are hosting the super bowl at our house. I’m making chili and guacamole, Courtney is making a buffalo chicken dip, and we have a few fun platters and chicken wings. I’m just incredibly excited that I get to wear my slippers!

What are you doing for the super bowl? If you’re reading this late… what did you do for the super bowl? I’m actually not a big football fan… but I do like watching the commercials and eating more than I should!

As always,

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