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Eden’s

This gorgeous palm leaf wall comprises one of the exterior walls of a restaurant in Chicago called Eden. This restaurant is right outside the city of Chicago. At first I thought it was weird to have a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, but it’s actually kind of genius! It’s minutes from the city and there is free parking. I think it’s a nice way for those who live in the city to escape from all the hustle and bustle. We didn’t actually have time to eat at the restaurant, but I have read reviews and seen pictures of the food and it looks phenomenal. I will definitely be headed back to Eden for dinner one of these days.

Some may think it’s overkill to wear a palm leaf print against a palm leaf wall, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the way the two came together. You can’t tell from the pictures, but I was having a serious wardrobe malfunction with this dress. I changes from my first outfit into this maxi dress in the car, and ended up ripping the side zipper on the dress. I had to pose a certain way and at certain angles because one side of the dress was completely open. It was pretty embarrassing, but my mom and I got a good laugh out of it. The dress was about twelve dollars from Marshalls so I guess you get what you pay for. It served it’s purpose for the photo shoot.

I can’t believe how hot and humid it was outside today. I actually had to work today, and I also work tomorrow, but just that short distance from the hospital to the parking lot was awful in scrubs. Days like these should be spent at the pool or lake. I feel like it always rains on my days off, and it’s really nice out when I work. I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend and staying cool. Thank you for reading.

xoxo

~Tanja~

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Damen Avenue

It’s no secret that I love a good art mural, and Chicago has no shortage of them. I saw this wall with multi colored hearts that I fell in love with. To my disappointment, that wall no longer exists on Damen Avenue. I’m not going to lie, I was very disappointed. We just drove an hour and a half to take pictures of a mural that no longer existed. That’s the thing about murals, they are not always permanent. Thankfully, we found three other great murals all on Damen Avenue.

Parking was a big pain in the butt as always. It took us a good half an hour to find a spot to park, and of course we had to pay for parking. Does anyone have any tips and tricks on parking in Chicago? Once we discovered that the mural I wanted was no longer there, we walked along Damen Avenue, and found a beautiful jungle mural on the side of a restaurant called Urban Belly. It was a bit tricky getting pictures at this location as people were eating outside right in front of the mural.

The plan was to change outfits with each mural, but with the parking situation and no privacy to change, I scratched that plan and decided to keep the same outfit for all three murals. The next mural we stumbled upon was one of two coyotes facing away from each other. This was my favorite mural by far. I loved all the bright colors and patterns on it. This one was created by the artist Tony Passero, and it sits at the 606 trail entrance.

The last art mural we stopped at was a series of three love murals. I love the classic black and white ones, but the brightly colored one was great too. These were created by a local artist named Matthew Hoffman. He is also behind the you are beautiful artwork. I love that his work is so uplifting and positive. We could definitely use more kind words in today’s world.

The outfit I have had for a few years now, and I have never had the guts to wear it. It’s definitely a showstopper. It may look like a dress, but it’s actually a romper. What I love about rompers is that they are so easy to wear . You just throw it on, and you are ready to go! This one was a bit tricky as it is low-cut. I paired it with a black lace bralette, which I thought went nicely with the long lace sleeves.  The best part of this romper is that it has pockets!

I am writing this blog post feeling pretty crappy. I have had a horrible migraine all day and the worst fatigue of my life. Just sitting here writing this is taking a lot out of me. I have literally been resting all day and have gotten nothing done. Sometimes we need those days to let our bodies recover. I hope you are all feeling well. Thank you guys for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

xoxo

~Tanja~

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Ringling Museum

If you are visiting Sarasota make sure to add the Ringling Museum to your bucket list. This location served as the winter home of John Ringling and his wife Mable. They traveled all over Europe, and Venice had a very special place in their hearts, as was evident by the beautiful architecture of the Museum. You can walk through the grounds for free!  There is only a cost if you want to go inside to see the circus collection. We chose to stick to the grounds, and we were not disappointed.

The gardens contained some of the most beautiful and unique plants and flowers I have ever seen. There is a stunning eucalyptus tree, and if you have never seen one of these they are stunning. They look like they have been splattered in tons of different paints. As the different layers of bark start to peel back, they reveal these brilliant colors. There is also a beautiful garden filled with statues and red roses which is a must see if you go.

The mansion that John stayed at is at the opposite end of the entrance, and that was personally my favorite stop along the way. The mansion is right on the water which makes for some stunning views. The workers there were so friendly and knowledgeable about any questions we had. There were also statues of all the animals that comprise the Chinese Zodiac. I was born in the year of the monkey and Carla the year of the goat.

Our last stop was outside the Museum of Art which to me looked like a giant pink palace. I was in love with the architecture and all the sculptures. I felt like I was transported to Venice inside this place. This would be a beautiful location for engagement or senior pictures. I love the way the photos turned out at this location. The dress I wore I have had for a few years, and I never had an occasion to wear it to. It was perfect for this photo shoot.  I would love to go back and check out the inside of the museum. I highly recommend this place next time you guys find yourselves in Florida. Thank you for reading! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

~Tanja~

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Ulele

One of my favorite places we went out to eat in Tampa would have to be Ulele. What I love about this place is that it has a rich history behind it. They serve native inspired food and drinks. Ulele was a Native American princess who lived in the 1500s. At this time the Spanish were exploring the area of Florida. The tribe captured three of the Spanish men. Among the three men that were captured was Juan Ortiz. Juan was set to be killed.  Feeling sorry for the man, Ulele threw herself onto the man in order to save his life. Ulele’s father agreed to spare the man’s life. For this reason she is referred to as Florida’s version of Pocahontas. This story was told to us by our waiter who was awesome by the way! All the staff there were fantastic.

When we arrived, we found that there was complimentary parking, which was a real treat for us, as parking can be a challenge in Florida. I do recommend making a reservation as this is a very popular restaurant. While we waited for our table, we checked out the outside of the restaurant which was stunning. There were two beautiful bronze statues of Ulele. There were a variety of fairytale sculptures scattered throughout the courtyard of the restaurant as well. They included; Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, The There Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, & the mouse from Hickory Dickory Dock. All of these sculptures were restored as they were in pretty bad shape. The sculptures are beautiful and add such a great touch to the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant had countless pieces of artwork as well. The restaurant overall is very visually pleasing.

What I loved about their menu is that all of their gluten free items were marked clearly, so it was easy for me to order. We started our meal out with the okra appetizer. If you have never had okra before I highly recommend it ! I had the fire roasted chicken for my entrée, and Carla had the steak and potatoes. For dessert we had the flourless chocolate torte, which was very rich so perfect for sharing. Carla also ordered the Ring of Fire which is one of their popular drinks. We had a great dining experience, and I would highly recommend the place if you are visiting the Tampa area. I hope you all have a great memorial day weekend. Thank you for reading.

xoxo

~Tanja~

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Siesta Beach

A few of our friends from college were staying an hour away from Tampa. I still can’t get over the fact that we were all in Florida at essentially the same place, and at the same time. So of course we had to get together and hang out! With our busy lifestyles we can’t seem to get together back home, but we made it happen in Florida! They are such a great and fun group of guys. It’s always a great time and lots of laughs when we all get together. On our last day in Florida we went and checked out Siesta Beach, and it was beautiful !

The sand at the beach is one of the most memorable parts about it. It’s so soft and powdery! That sand felt so good on that hot day and kept our feet cool. My only complaint about the beach was that there was absolutely no parking. This was the busiest of the three beaches we went to. We actually ended up parking ten minutes away and taking an uber to the beach! The beach was packed, but it was so beautiful that I honestly didn’t even care. If you met our friends, you would know that they don’t go to the beach without a volleyball in hand. Does anyone else stink at volleyball as much as I do !? It’s fun to play, but my arms always hurt afterwards. We stayed just until the sun was starting to set, and I have to tell you it was very hard leaving knowing it was our last day in Florida. My dream is to one day have a home close to the beach.

After the beach, we headed to a barbecue style restaurant. I had the most delicious kale salad there, and I have been kind of hooked on them ever since. When I came home from my trip, I bought all the ingredients and recreated the salad. What a crazy, but cool coincidence that we ran into our friends. It just made our trip that much better.  Do you guys ever have those moments where you are like what are the odds of this happening!?  Thank you for reading and have a great weekend !

xoxo

~Tanja~

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