• 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…

  • Uncategorized

    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,…

  • Travel

    Beaches and Beer Part 2: Berlin

    Part two of our trip was a stop in beautiful Berlin. My friends had really hyped Barcelona and it was definitely so fun, but I just totally vibed with Berlin. The crisp air, the sense of history, and the low-key atmosphere of the city were right up my alley. Barcelona was exciting, but Berlin was truly relaxing. My favorite moment was simply walking around and experiencing the city with good people and warm coffee. Sometimes that’s all you really need… Where we stayed: We skipped the AirBnb this time and stayed at the Grand Hostel in Kreuzberg, which we had a good experience with. Clean rooms, cheap drinks, close to…

  • Travel

    Beaches and Beer Part 1: Barcelona

    After finishing my dissertation, a few friends and I jetted off for a few days of vacation and, man, did I need it. I’m the kind of person that takes a long time to decompress from long term stress, but I discovered that changing my surroundings did wonders for my relaxation – it really helped me realize that my dissertation was actually over! Woohoo! First off, we headed to beautiful Barcelona. I’ve been craving hot weather all summer since summers in Dublin are typically mild and wet so this leg of the trip totally hit the spot. The city has so much energy and the siesta life is definitely something…

  • Travel

    Galway & Cliffs of Moher

    I’m back y’all! To say this month is crazy would be an understatement – between finishing my master’s degree, having friends come to stay, going on vacation, and prepping for a big move life has been nuts! But before I even begin to think about wrapping things up here in Dublin, I’d like to share a few of my recent adventures… For the last two weeks, our good friend Mario has been staying with us and before embarking on our trip to the Continent (which you’ll be hearing about soon) we decided to show him a little bit more of Ireland. So we hopped on a bus and headed out to…

  • Uncategorized

    Weekend Toast V.10

    How was your weekend? We had a couple of birthday/house parties on tap and I have to say it was kind of glorious sleeping in and ordering late night dirty takeout. Would love to get a few pages of my dissertation done this evening, but let’s be honest… I do really need to buckle down this week, though, so I’m mentally preparing for long days in the library and too many cups of coffee. Wish me luck (I’m gonna need it)! If you’re not quite ready to start your week, yet, here are a few procrastination friendly links… Would love to see an entire play made up of scenes like this. If…

  • 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)…

  • Travel

    The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

    This is by far one of my favorite spots in Dublin! Peaceful, tucked away, and completely gorgeous, the Dublin Botanic Gardens are a great way to spend an afternoon, whether you’re local or just in for the weekend. The gardens are home to two enormous greenhouses brimming with plants from all over the world: succulents, orchids, palm trees, prairie grasses, the list goes on and on. Summer doesn’t get too warm around here (it’s July and 60 degrees), so my favorite spot has to be the tropics room. The air is humid and hot and reminds me of those super sticky summer days back home in the Midwest. I know most people…