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    Women’s March Madison + 3 Things I’m Pledging to Do

    On Saturday I marched with thousands of women and men (and children and grandmas and families) to say that we will not be silent for the next four years. It was the first time since I voted for Hillary Clinton that I felt proud of our politics, that I felt any sort of hope for our future. After living abroad for so much of the election the divisions here at home came as a shock. The last few months have been hard for a lot of reasons, but watching Trump throw tantrums at the media and scramble to assemble a (white, male) cabinet have been an underlying source of depression.…

  • Travel

    Elk Season in the Rocky Mountains

    One of the days I was in Colorado, my stepmom and I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park for the afternoon. We had planned on driving up the mountain and doing a little hiking, but quickly got sidetracked as herds of elk appeared at the roadside. Just super casual, Colorado… We ended up seeing four herds throughout the day and were lucky enough to get pretty close – I didn’t have a zoom lens on my camera so that first guy was really that close. It was such a cool experience to watch these huge animals in the wild and one of my favorite photography experiences to date. I…

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    Weekend Toast V.12

    This week I got the chance to go out to Boulder, Colorado and visit my dad and stepmom who are in the process of moving out there. I’ve been hearing about Boulder for years and I finally get what all the hubbub is about – beautiful scenery, great downtown filled with restaurants and shops, and you’re never further than 10 minutes from an amazing hike. Although it was a relatively short visit, it was so fun to see what they’re up to and let me say, it certainly doesn’t suck. I’m back in Chicago now and here’s a little bit more about my week… What I Did This Week 1. Before I…

  • Travel

    The Official Toast Guide to Dublin

    Although I’m already back in the US, I wanted to make sure to put together a list of all my favorite spots in Dublin while it’s still fresh. I love giving suggestions when people visit, so I wanted to share the spots that I have loved eating, drinking, dancing, shopping, and touristing over the past year. I put together a budget friendly guide earlier in the year and so many of those places I still love regardless of what I’m spending, but I wanted to share what I consider the best of the best in Dublin, too. This guide has got a little bit of everything: food, drinks, nightlife, tourist spots, day trips,…

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    Weekend Toast V.11

    It feels really good to be home. The last several weeks have been crazy to say the least, but no matter where I go in the world there’s nothing like coming back to familiar places and loving people. I’m honestly just starting to feel settled back into the US and a big part of me still feels like its in Ireland, but having some down time to write, run, and catch up with my favorite people has been really centering. Here’s a little recap of what I’ve been doing, reading, and loving this week… What I Did This Week 1. Got dragged to a visiting artist lecture at the School…

  • Travel

    Dublin on a Dime: My Guide to Doing Dublin on the Cheap

    So I love to travel and living in Dublin has been one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life. But as we all know, traveling can get expensive so even just pinching a few pennies here and there can really help. As part of my quest to be more cost-conscious, here is my (by no means comprehensive) guide to ballin’ on a budget here in Dublin: Places to Eat The Buttery – Tucked away on Trinity College’s front square is a little spot called the Buttery (just to the left of the Campanile if you enter from the front gate). You can get a hearty lunch of thick stew…

  • Travel

    A Summer Weekend in London

    If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that last weekend we did a quick trip over to London! I have to say, we really made the most of our three days there: hitting up museums and local markets, spending an afternoon in the country, and drinking and eating our way through several parts of the city. Of course there was so much we didn’t get to do, especially sight seeing wise, but we ended up having a totally lovely weekend. So often quick trips feel like more work than vacation, but we really hit the right balance this time. Our first stop once getting into the city (from Stansted Airport)…

  • Pop Culture

    Dublin’s Gay Pride Parade

    This past Saturday we celebrated Pride here in Dublin and, let me say, I have never seen the city quite like this. Some have described it as “Paddy’s Day without the tourists” and I don’t think that’s too far off – it felt like the whole city was out in full regalia, dancing and laughing. I had just crawled out of bed in a sour mood, but the energy and confidence exuded by everyone in the parade was so contagious it could have cheered the grinch. Everyone had turned out the for parade: sports teams sponsored by The George (one of the big gay clubs in Dublin), local LGBTQ+ social groups (including…

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    Louise O’Neill Interviews Lindy West in Dublin

    Last night, I had the extreme pleasure of going to see Lindy West speak with Irish author Louise O’Neill here in Dublin. The event was part of Lindy’s book tour promoting her memoir, Shrill, but they also talked about body positivity, the #shoutyourabortion campaign, and Lindy’s ideal internet troll. In their discussion of internet trolling, Lindy’s story for This American Life came up. I immediately remembered the harrowing tale of an internet troll who created a false online account of Lindy’s own father, who had recently passed away, saying horrible things about his ‘daughter’. The story has stuck with me since I heard it over a year ago, but I (dumbly) didn’t…

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    Weekend Toast V.4

    So in honor of trying to get into a more regular blogging schedule, I’m recapping my week and sharing some of my favorite linkages from around the interwebs. Highlight: Definitely the highlight of my week was seeing Margaret Atwood speak to The Philosophical Society at Trinity yesterday. She is one of my favorite authors and I love her dry humor and unapologetic feminism. I was in a stage adaptation of her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, when I was in high school and she has been on my radar ever since. She spoke a lot on her environmental work, including her upcoming graphic novel Angel Catbird, which centers on bird conservation…