Five years ago (June 5th is my anniversary), I moved to Columbus after getting married and slowly began to explore this city. I wasn’t gluten-free back in 2009 and we lived in the ‘burbs. That meant a lot of Olive Garden, Applebees, Little Caesar’s and Chipotle. Ehhhh. As we made our way south, towards downtown, we realized what a good-food-loving-city Columbus really is.
Instagram allowed me to document this journey while I fell in love with Columbus’ taste in good food. Food trucks, small diners, farm to table, reallllly good alcohol. All local. It totally blew me away. Even as I became gluten-free and began to refine my diet, the Columbus restaurant scene still delivered.
So here’s my favor. For what you would spend on a really sugary drink at Starbucks, you could help me and my city. We are getting an amazing gift called The Commissary. It’s going to be a flexible space for pop-ups, meetings, and classes where food makers and farmers can experiment, create, collaborate, and share. I’m excited to be on the board for their non-profit section and am going to be able to teach food makers how to take better photos for their websites.
Okay I got distracted…so for $6, you can help back it and help them meet their goal. You’ll get a sticker. You’ll make me smile. And if you ever come to Columbus, we’ll hang out and eat all this amazing food.
If you find it in your heart to support this awesome thing that I’m involved in, comment below and I’ll send you a little thank you in the mail! Plus, who doesn’t love pen pals?
Since the start of May, we’ve been traveling a lot. The Death to the Stock Photo city roadtrips led to me visiting my family which led to our trip to the beach which led to a few days in Chicago for a client project which led to Cincinnati for Beyonce (yes, she and Jay were amazing). It’s insane that I never got sick during the last two months because I used to ALWAYS get sick when I would travel. Despite the airports, cabin pressure, being around so many people + lack of sleep…I finally figured out that it was all tied to diet. When I feed my body crap, things don’t go so well. For most of my life I struggled with multiple sinus infections per year, rounds of antibiotics, migraines, feeling bloated, always fatigued + more that would be TMI.
I always enjoy sharing things that have worked for me or ways in which I’ve improved my quality of life in hopes that at least one of you out there can relate and might give it a try. Below I’ve outlined tips, products + advice that might help you eat a bit more clean no matter where you jet off to next! Or maybe you don’t care and you want to skip down to the end where I’m giving away $100 worth of goods from UncommonGoods to help you travel a bit healthier next time….
- Be Prepared (now I’m singing the song from Lion King): I don’t know about you but I’m always awake at like 3am the night before I leave for a trip and haven’t even packed yet. I used to procrastinate with packing my food too but not anymore! Honestly, Amazon is amazing. I order all the necessities a few days before I leave and it arrives on my doorstep! No need to look like a zombie walking through the 24-Hour Kroger two hours before my flight.
- Avoid White Crap. I’m guten-free (and have been since Feb 2012!) but I also avoid sugar and grains too. While I’m traveling I also try to avoid potatoes, cheese + cow’s milk. I still eat all of these things occasionally but I have to bring my A-game while I travel. It’s not the diet for everyone but it’s perfect for me. I’m not Paleo but food that is Paleo is real food so I don’t hate!
- Only Pack What You Love. If you hate kale like me then don’t lie to yourself and pack a crap ton of kale chips thinking you’re going to “eat healthy” on vacation. PUHHHLEASE. Pack what you actually like eating (or alternatives to the crappy stuff you crave). So for me? I pack plantain chips because at any moment I want to be able to eat guac and salsa. I also love these specific ones because the bags are small enough for me to bring them without busting out a huge, family-sized bag of chips in a restaurant.
- Be Strategic About Meals. I’m not a morning person so you definitely won’t see me up and ready for breakfast in the AM. Since I know this about myself, I know that whatever I pack should probably cover a late breakfast of sorts. I usually turn to homemade granola, Lara Bars or (if I have access to a kitchen), I’ll bring or buy stuff for a smoothie. Then I just need to plan specifically around lunch + dinner day-to-day. Those are the meals that are usually more social anyways.
- Snag + Pack Foods That Travel Well. Unless you have a refrigerator built into your backpack (um, I need that) then you need to be on the look out for foods that travel well. On my list: avocados, bananas, bars + granola, crackers.
- Don’t Let Yourself Get Hangry. If I make sure I have an adequate amount of snacks available and don’t let myself get hungry angry then I won’t get lazy and eat crap at a restaurant. When I get to that stage of feeling hungry, I will let my guard down and then I’ll find myself on the toilet. Lovely.
- Bring Your Own Gear. Just recently we started bringing our own “gear.” When I say gear I mean:
- Hamilton Beach blender (small but blends ice + frozen fruit). On vacation I just kept peanut butter, spinach, almond milk and bananas on hand for a breakfast smoothie!
- Containers to store food if we’re just out for the day, want to store my grain-free bread and stuff like that.
- My water bottle! I drink so much water during the day so it made sense that when I would travel I would get dehydrated.
- Portable phone chargers. This is huge. I use Yelp to search “gluten-free” or “Paleo” when trying to find restaurants. I use an app to create white noise so I can sleep and well…Instagram.
Now let’s get to the FUN stuff! A giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with UncommonGoods to giveaway some of my favorite items + things that will help you all feel a bit more prepared when trying to eat clean. After chatting with them, I started digging into all their other sections besides home & garden. If you’re in the market for some unique, handmade gifts then you should check out this stuff. I’m already planning on buying this donut pillow. If I can’t eat it, I might as well snuggle with it. Check out more home decor here.
I’ve given you guys a lot of ways to enter and I’ll be choosing + announcing the winner on Friday on the 4th of July! I did not receive an compensation for writing this post. Just $100 worth of credit that I’m using on one of YOU all!
Win all this stuff! Worth $100. Ohhh yeah.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Five years ago I wore a really expensive dress (hmm, I should try to sell that), danced until I dropped and then everyone started calling me Allie Lehman. To celebrate, I’m getting a tattoo to match his and we’re going to go hang out with Beyonce and Jay.
But it doesn’t get as many Instagram likes.
There’s lots of talk lately about Instagram and what it encourages: perfectly styled photos, standing on chairs to take a photo of your food and selfies for days. I would say it bothers me 10% of the time.
I jump on Instagram or Bloglovin’ and many of my peers are renovating homes, re-designing every room in the house and somehow all of them have the most amazing natural light. Then I look up from my phone and at our home, the duct tape keeping our AC window units working, the fact that I never have steamed out the creases in our Target curtains or the fact that our kitchen floor always looks dirty and think, “Oh my gosh. When are we going to be able to upgrade this shit!?”
Or there are the days where we eat Chipotle every night for dinner and I see all these beautifully styled (okay…too styled) plates of fresh, CSA meals being prepared by fellow bloggers across the country.
That’s 10% of the time. The rest of the time I’m just submerged deep into The Wonder Jam, side projects, collaborating with my friend across the country, photographing the beautiful people in my life or sleeping. I love how cheap our rent is. I’m proud of how long I can go without doing my hair. I love other people who are down-to-earth + real. I admire those who aren’t using social media.
But I’m all about Instagram as my happy/visual place. I love the perfectly styled photos and the selfies where you feel beautiful. Plus, people can do whatever they want. Less judging! Just know that my feed (or this blog) isn’t my whole life. It’s a small snippet and it’s a space where I see beauty in the life that I’m creating. But damn, my life is usually a mess. And I’m cool with that.
As you may have noticed…our May was quite eventful. AND EXPENSIVE. It left us quite high and dry and we’re treating June as a “re-save all the monies” type of month. Some expenses included:
- Trip to Nashville (while it was a Death to the Stock Photo trip, we spent money of our own) $
- My birthday $$
- Trip to NYC (same as Nashville x 100) $$$
- Put down our deposit on our studio (we’re currently subleasing but had to sign the lease for when we take over September 1 and put down a month’s worth of rent as a deposit) $$$$
- A pipe exploded under our bathroom sink $
- We hosted our 1 year birthday party for The Wonder Jam $$$
Oof. So last weekend, I decided to treat myself with a twenty dollar bill that Adam’s grandma sent to me in the mail for my birthday. While it was belated, it came at the perfect time. I bought myself an iced cinnamon honey latte (with almond milk) down the street for $3.75 and skipped over to Walgreens for some drugstore makeup.
I’m sort of a walking dichotomy because I equally hate AND love getting “ready.” I probably only wash my hair once a week and the idea of getting ready usually sets my eyes rolling. BUT I also love makeup. It’s an obsession and when I do wear it – I really, really love it. I watch all the makeup artists who are huge on YouTube, I buy really high end makeup but I also love drugstore makeup. (Side note: when did drugstore makeup start getting so expensive though??)
All that to say…I sat in our empty guest room (we call it the ZEN ROOM) in front of a mirror and did my makeup 100 different ways and experimented with braiding my hair. Oh and my brother sat in there with me while he worked. What a pal…
So there you have it. My $20 treat day. Since Adam and I are going on a beach vacation with his family next weekend, I sold a few clothes over on Instagram and intend on buying some beachwear soon. There’s something strangely challenging (in the best way) about being on a budget.
The Wonder Jam turned ONE last month and so we decided to do what we did when it first started…throw a party! The entire theme was centered around Phoebe Buffay from Friends. Her line, “Crazy like a straw….you know….crazy straws??” Also, she knows what’s up because she also is repping crazy straws in the episode where she’s in charge of cups and ice at Rachel’s surprise party…
I mean, you really can’t go wrong with crazy straws. They’re super cheap, fun and everyone gets a little more drunk than they planned.
Sarah, of The Whole Shabang Events, was our party planner and she KILLED it. Homemade guacamole + salsa, empanadas, pineapple, melon water, sangria + more. We also snagged 3 boxes of Cherbourg Bakery‘s strawberry shortcake cookies. The best cookies on the face of this earth. Swoon.
Of course we had to buy our friend Brandon’s Miller High Life cans.
Adam and I were so humbled and grateful by the end of the night. We were surrounded by such amazing friends, supporters and clients. The only thing I regret is not sending out invitations via the mail. Between Facebook and trying to tell everyone we could think of as we saw them…I can think of so many that we didn’t invite due to lack of poor planning. Plus we missed all our clients who live across the country or on the other side of the world. We love you all!
Our last day in New York City was technically in Brooklyn again. After being somewhat MIA from work for the last four days, the three of us had a lot to catch up on as Monday morning rolled around. We decided to take care of the things we needed while at the apartment (How amazing was our place? here’s the listing. Mark, our host, was fabulous) and then walk over to Cobble Hill for some burgers at Moo Burger. The spot was chosen by me…because they have gluten-free buns! The 20-25 minute walk each way was beautiful and made me a little upset that we’d be leaving for an 8 hour travel day.
Every time I visit NYC, I encounter a different city (or rather, different experiences). I wonder what next trip will be like…
Our last full day in New York City was good for my soul. We slept in (it was a Sunday) and rushed off to the Williamsburg flea to meet up with Kathryn to shoot photos. We spent the rest of the morning walking around Williamsburg, shopping and shooting photos.
My best friend Kellyn and her boyfriend made their way to Brooklyn from Philly for brunch + to spend the day with us. I have missed her so!
After an amazing brunch at Cafe Moto, we found a spot in Prospect Park with a bottle of rosé and spent time with old and new friends until the sun set.
Tomorrow: the fifth and final day of our trip with photos of our Airbnb!
The weather spoiled us on our third day in New York City. 70′s and sunny throughout the entire day. I had spent the night prior working on a client project until pretty late so we woke up super rushed and off to my blowout appointment at DreamDry in Manhattan. I love DreamDry over DryBar for a few reasons and one of them is the fact that they just have a lot more styles to offer! I got the “polished Stevie” and I’m not exaggerating when I say it lasted up to 3 days. Those waves just wouldn’t quit!
We traipsed around Manhattan for the rest of the afternoon. We hit up Zara, Uniqlo and snagged Adam a new watch. It’s a tradition dating back to our honeymoon! I bought Adam an awesome (tax-free) watch on our way to Florida and now we add to his collection every trip.
By 4pm, we headed back to the apartment for a quick nap and to drop off our bags before snapping photos + grabbing dinner with Lindsay and her main squeeze Aaron at Alma. We waited patiently over drinks for a rooftop table and as you can see from the last picture, we conquered!
Our second day in New York City was…drenched. It rained all day and the wind was quite impressive. Read: my hair instantly turned into a nest of frizz. We had a few meetings in Little Italy and so we ducked into Oro Bakery & Bar for some warm drinks while the guys drooled over their pretzel bagels (yes, I was jealous). This pretzel bagel really got into their head and for the remainder of the trip they would duck into bakeries across the city seeking something similar. No luck.
We were able to meet with Stephen from Skillshare. We love Skillshare’s mission + their desire to share while supporting anyone who’s willing to learn. The rest of our day consisted of the Chelsea Market (I was too busy drooling over all the food to shoot photos) and headed back to Brooklyn to tend to client work. The rain really put a buzzkill on our shooting plans but we knew sun was in the forecast.
This trip was the most stressful when it came to juggling client deadlines while also shooting and exploring the city. I see such a shift happening in The Wonder Jam’s day-to-day lives as we finish up the first half of 2014. I’m working on co-writing a book (!!) and we’ll be launching some online resources by the end of the year. “Making money while we sleep.” That’s the goal.