Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Saturday in Shampoo Banana

9:00 AM: We spent a few precious minutes perusing the excellent produce at the Urbana Farmers' Market. We stocked up on these delicious doughnut/Saturn peaches. 

10:45 AM: We headed to downtown Champaign to meet a friend for lunch. Had a few minutes to kill so we stopped in Jane Addams Bookstore, one of our favorite bookshops ever. Since we only had a half hour, I only had time to look through the mystery room, and walked out with a couple of cozies!

2:00 PM: After lunch and invigorating conversation over bubble tea, Ben and I checked out some art, particularly for some clay pieces to add to our collection. We didn't find anything we really wanted, but we always have a great time learning about the artists' or pieces' stories. 

3:00 PM: Back to Champaign to visit our old haunts for treats. We stopped by Pekara to check out their entremets, then went to Cream and Flutter to get cupcakes to save for later. 

6:00 PM : Had an early dinner at Xinh Xinh Cafe where we finally were able to get nataing after 4 long years! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Dreamy Home

On a recent trip to Urbana to meet old friends and their baby, we lucked out on our lodgings found via Airbnb. This home was pretty much what I imagine my home would be if Ben and I stayed in Illinois. Located in a quiet, residential neighborhood, but still close to both downtown Champaign and Urbana, it's pretty much walking distance to lots of restaurants and cafes. The house had warm brown hardwood floors and large windows that let tree-filtered light in-- basically, every room was a perfect reading nook. I also loved the wild-ish garden brimming with greenery and dotted with bright petals. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Space Monkey Treats

Jilly's is one of the choice treat stops we stop by regularly. We love that they change their cupcake lineup every month, which also adds another reason why we frequent it. This time, Ben and I split a Space Monkey cupcake which looks just as ooey gooey as it looks. It's a banana toffee cupcake base, filled with toffee dulce de leche and then topped with a caramel swirl buttercream icing. Yum!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cat Tails

I never noticed these cat tails growing in the most inconspicuous of places (behind corporate buildings!) until just this summer. They look like slim corndogs on green sticks!

Monday, August 21, 2017

An Incredibly Delicious Pit Stop

A few weeks back, Ben and I drove up to Champaign, Illinois to meet up with some friends from grad school. On our way up, we decided to stop by Incredibly Delicious Cakes in Springfield because I had ingrained in my memory that their gigantic macarons were the best I'd ever tasted at the time. 

It was a balmy, quiet Friday afternoon when we got to the downtown Springfield area, and we found parking right away. I took a few moments to just appreciate the gorgeous building with the contrasting trim and details, as well as the well-tended greenery surrounding it. Then, Ben and I proceeded to find our way through the rooms of seating areas to the counter where we picked out a scone, a few macarons, and a coconut entremets (Ben also got a cookie to-go!)

The macarons were as delicious as I remember (though these were small, "regular"-sized macarons as opposed to the giants I had before) but this time, the filling was a little too buttery for my tastes. The coconut cake was DIVINE-- light and very flavorful, and the scone was a perfect, crumbly, savory late lunch. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tacos and Ice Cream

The Taco and Ice Cream Joint is exactly that. It even has that shiny and retro-futuristic vibe that makes it feel really like a "joint." The space is HUGE and full of color: it's in the ice cream, their displays, their furniture. We ordered our tacos from the huge list of options. We even got tongue, tripe, and cabeza (head? meat) Holy moly-- when the tacos came out, we were flabbergasted. Stuffed with meat, each taco was brimming! They also have an area for toppings and hot sauce, which we definitely took advantage of!

For dessert, we perused the fun display of ice creams and paletas (and yes, there is a corn-flavored ice cream!) and decided to split a Mangonada which is composed of mango ice cream layered with mango cubes and chamoy. 

Our favorite taco was the tripe, and all the others were just OK. We definitely have lots more to try, especially their ice creams-- I can't wait to try that corn one!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Saturday Market Scenes

Just a few snapshots of our recent market trip to the Tower Grove Farmers' Market. July means lots of tomatoes, peaches, and summer squash, so that's what we loaded up on. And books! (OK, we're always loading up on books)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another "National Holiday?"

Two "national holiday" posts in one week? Uh, duh! National Ice Cream Day comes two days after National Hotdog Day, so this definitely was a weekend of treats! Ben and I headed to Clementine's our favorite ice cream joint in StL. We each got a cone (2 scoops, please!): I got Pistachio and Gooey Butter Cake (because, duh), and he got Peach Perfect and Blackberry Buttermilk. We enjoyed our cones outside, watching the evening progress and pretty grape vines abloom!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


For National Hotdog Day (yes, it's a thing) Ben and I had dinner at Steve's Hot Dogs at Tower Grove where they were having a Buy One Get One Free hotdog promo to celebrate! 

We love Steve's, and have many fond memories of finding parking at the Hill location during a busy Saturday so we wouldn't have to walk too far in the summer sun to get a tasty hotdog. We love that they have other locations and now offer Mac and Cheese I'll admit that I come to Steve's for their Mac and Cheese more than their hotdogs. Don't judge!-- I just really love Mac and Cheese! (The Silverback is my FAVORITE. Bacon AND fried onions? Done.)

But on National Hotdog Day, we ate hotdogs. And they were really good. 
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