Dollop Coffee

Okay so I’m finally settling into a routine back here in Texas and knew that i HAD to do a post on Dollop Coffee in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place is freakishly adorable and only a couple blocks to Lake Michigan. Which is just plain fantastic since if you sit in the right spot on their patio, you can totally see the lake. And if it’s nice out, there’ll be people out enjoying the start of summer.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, I definitely recommend checking out the lake and surrounding areas. It’s got this vibrancy that isn’t really similar to any place else unless you grew up on an ocean or at another spot on Lake Michigan. This body of water is freakishly huge — i’m still sometimes surprised it’s a lake. But anyway, back to coffee.

Apparently, Dollop Coffee has a few spots around Chicago but the one I went to is just off the Miracle Mile, a go to if you’re a shopping fanatic. I’m not but kudos if you are. I ordered their almond milk vanilla latte and though it wasn’t the best cup I’ve ever had, the location, atmosphere, and the staff more than made up for it.

Their pastries looked fantastic but my stomach was acting funny so decided to stay with something I already knew and take a walk in my old stomping grounds. But this place is small, cute, and totally perfect for what a local Chicago coffee shop should be.

4/5 

4/5

Lauren Conrad Tea Pot & Earl Gray Tea

So my birthday was just over a week ago and I’ve basically been celebrating a whole bunch. Because birthdays only happen once a year and I’m in an okay place right now, which is awesome. Anyway, so my best friend, who happens to share my love of horrible reality TV and Lauren Conrad, quite possibly sent me the best gift I’ve received in a while.

If you’ve been living under a rock lately and haven’t heard, Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame has her own fair trade line called The Little Market. And all products sold are made fair trade by local female artisans around the world. It’s awesome stuff and all the products are insanely adorable. I love any product that is functional, appealing, and gives back in some way.

So when my bestie said she was mailing me something, I knew it was going to be good. I just didn’t know it was going to be this good.

The tea is organic fair trade earl gray and I’m obsessed. It’s not super fruity but its definitely caffeinated, which I love. And I haven’t had a chance to use to the tea pot, I’m waiting for a morning where I have some time to just sit and enjoy it while overlooking the trees by my apartment. But if you have a chance, check out the Little Market and pick up some goodies for yourself! I promise you won’t regret any purchase. Plus, you’ll feel good doing it too!

The Coffee Shop in Lafayette, CA

So I recently went back to my hometown/part of California last week for part business part finally seeing my parents new house in the East Bay of San Francisco. And during my super short vacation to my favourite state, I caught up with an old friend of mine who i’ve known since middle school at a place called The Coffee Shop.

At first, when he mentioned meeting there for coffee and catching up, i didn’t know that its actual name was The Coffee Shop. But apparently they also have a location in Walnut Creek and though it may insanely hipster, it has a great atmosphere and great caffeine. I got their matcha latte (sorry, diet, but at least it’s high in antioxidants?) and my friend got some of their coffee. Their ‘for here’ cups are insanely adorable and this great blue colour. And it was a great day for sitting out on their patio at one of the high tops.

I was a little worried when i first walked up because the line was almost out the door and it was only 1030AM or so. I thought at least we’d beat the morning rush! But the line was worth it. The staff was friendly and I wish i lived in he area still so I could make this spot a regular go to to work at! Super cute and in downtown Lafayette as well.

Plus, their colours are yellow, gray, and blue with a logo of an upside down man with a bowler hat. Can it get any more fantastic than that?!

If you’re in the Lamorinda area and have some extra time, check this spot out! There might be a line but it’ll be worth it. I can’t wait to try some of their food and stronger caffeine the next time!

Bulletproof Coffee

If you’re on Instagram or follow any health/wellness bloggers, you’ve probably heard of the caffeine trend known as Bulletproof Coffee. It’s supposedly got healthy fats and supposed to help increase brain activity or something. To be honest, I always get really confused in the wellness world what triggers brain function, what increase metabolism, and the like. There are just so many outlets and it’s tough to know where to even start!

Anyway, I follow a few and my holistic coach posted something about this contraption drink called Bulletproof coffee. And I figured I’d give it a shot.  It has cold brew coffee, ghee (vegan butter, basically), coconut oil (or MCT oil if you want to get real fancy), and a few other things. I blended some up the night before last and had some this morning. And to be honest, I WAS IN LOVE WITH IT. I’m still getting the flavouring right and how to get the ingredients right.

But surprisingly, given I’m a tea person and not really a fan of cold brew to begin with, I liked Bulletproof Coffee. It made me feel more alert in the morning and it made me feel fuller in combination with some breakfast. If you even google the name of it, you’ll find a slew of recipes. But I love the ones by The Balanced Blonde, The Balanced Berry, and some by Live Wright Wellness. And I’m trying some with blackberries for tomorrow morning. Because, you know, fruit and stuff.

It’s definitely a customizable recipe. Some recommend adding cinnamon but honestly, I couldn’t ever really taste it when i added it to mine. So play around with the recipes you find and let me know what you like the most!

Let me know what y’all want to see from the blog this year! I’m in the process of doing some YouTube videos too and will post them here when they’re live.

 

The Alcove & State Street Coffee

So I found this after my original spot was way too crowded and people apparently had never parked in a parking lot there this morning. I went on Yelp, found one that was close by, and found this one. At first, I thought it was labeled wrong since it looked like some fancy bar you take hipsters to or your first date you want to impress. But I saw people coming out with to go coffees so I decided to take a chance and see if it was actually labeled correctly on Yelp.

And to my surprise, it’s actually both! it’s a fancy wine/beer bar AND a coffee shop. I never understood how people could work in bars efficiently until I came here. The coffee portion is off to the side once you walk in and they’s limited seating. But the chairs are comfy, the wifi is good, and their coffee is strong. What more could you want?

I mean, if your project goes to shit and you feel like it’s respectable to pull a Hemingway, you’re welcome to. I can only comment on their lattes, WHICH ARE SO GOOD. I need to switch up my milk though as per my nutritionist but still. So good. Can’t wait to come back here for date night and see how they do later on in the evenings.

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But I think my favourite part of this place is that the baristas are kind, funny, and knowledgeable. I hate going to a place where the people making your drinks are just mean or seem really standoffish. I get it, some days people have off days. But could you at least pretend like you know I’m not trying to make my drink order difficult?

This also seems like this would be the place to get there early as I can imagine with the adult beverages on tap, it could get a little distracting. But their clientele at 10AM on a Saturday morning seem decent enough.

Plus, I’m getting work done! Which is always a great sign of a coffee shop in my opinion. Check it out if you’re ever in Uptown Dallas!

4.5/5 

Pique Tea Crystals

Ok first of all, who can believe it’s 2017 already? Where did time go? And how can we make it stop? I’ve got so many feelings, goals, and the like going on right now. But that just might be the PMS talking, who knows.

Anyway, first blog post of the new year, yay!  Recently, Pique Tea Crystals sent me some samples of their tea. And I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I received Sencha Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, and their Earl Gray — the latter of which came highly recommended by a friend of a friend.

This morning, I tried the Sencha Green Tea as part of my morning mug that I take to work. And though the taste was there, I think i might have used too much water. They recommended 8oz and my mug is about 12, I believe. But the little satchels the crystals come in are adorable. You simply tear open the satchels, pour the crystals into your mug of choice, and then fill the mug with hot water. Or cold, if you want it iced or something.

The  great thing about Pique is that all their crystals are organic, easy to use, and can be found in a multitude of locations, including Amazon. Plus, they have no added sugars and have a ton of antioxidants right now. It’s instant tea without the grittyness or the weird after taste. And their packaging is absolutely adorable & ingenious. But the greatest part? It’s incredibly affordable.

The next one I think I’m going to try is the Earl Gray. After all, it is my favourite kind of tea. Kindof a giveaway but whatever. I love trying new kinds of tea and exploring differnt brands as well. After trying the other flavours, I definitely think I’ll be purchasing some more from them

If you want to check their stuff out, click here to browse their catalog as well as learn more about all the great things they have to offer.

all opinions are my own 

Give A Care Tea

So if you know me in real life, you’re probably aware that I’ve lost more than a few people to cancer. WHether it was breast, lung, Hodgkins, leukemia…..the list goes on. Without any exaggeration, I hate cancer. And cannot wait for it to be successfully eradicated, in all of its strains. So because of this, i’m always looking for fun nonprofits and organizations to donate to that actually give a large portion of their proceeds to funding research. And no, this doesn’t include Susan G. Komen. I’m talking about organizations like National Breast cancer and the like that breakdown where they’re sending hte money to and how it’s helping real people.

I recently stumbled upon this non-profit from Canada that’s called REthink Breast Cancer. I was intrigued because recently, I had a friend find a lump in her breast and we’re still waiting on test results to see if it’s benign or not. And the really fun thing about Rethink Breast Cancer is more than just the great products that they have. They also have phenomenal resources for people who just got diagnosed, are going through chemo, or just went into remission. Additionally, each product you purchase comes with a great guide of how to literally check yourself for lumps or masses that need a doctor’s attention immediately.

Additionally, ReThink is mostly geared towards young women who are diagnosed in hopes of fostering early detections and regular annual screenings. After doing some research on my own, I decided to buy some of their loose leaf herbal tea (which i’m drinking while I write this!) and some headache balm that’s basically doused in essential oils from their brand called ‘Give A Care’. You can see more of their products here and learn more about the organization here.

The tea is called ‘I-don’t-want-to-have-this-conversation-either-but-it’s too-late-i-already-made-the-tea” and after reading that title, i knew i had to have it. Having conversations with someone who either was recently diagnosed themselves or know someone close to them is always strange, awkward, and nothing right is ever said. Most of their products have fun names like this that directly correlate to experiences as a young person and being diagnosed with cancer.

If you can, check out the website and buy a few products or donate a few dollars if you can. Chances are, you know someone with cancer and all the money to getting rid of this horrendous disease is not without great thanks. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season and get ready for more posts coming soon!