OBSERVATORIES + OLD FRIENDS

how long have you + your oldest friend been friends? some of my tried + true ladies i've known since before birth [if you count that... haha!], + natalie is one of these friends. she lived two blocks down the street from me growing up, we danced in the same ballet class, sat next to each other in the middle school band [flute + clarinet section WOOT WOO!], + were in the same playgroup as babies. i think we've spent almost every, if not all, 19 birthdays together - oh ya, + we're four days apart. so basically sisters, ya know? [more posts featuring natalie here + here!]

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somehow, by the grace of god, we both ended up in california at the exact same time. so, the tradition of birthday celebrations + random adventures are continuing, + probably [hopefully] will forever :) a few sundays ago, we decided to meet up for a farmer's market date, which turned into lunch, which turned into us sitting on someone's random stoop looking for free things to do in LA, because #collegebudgetlife. thankfully, the griffith was only about 15 minutes away, so we ponied up some cash for an uber + went to search for ryan gosling [but avtually just look out over this beautiful city that we both now call home]

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as we hiked up the road [myself in a dress, natalie in flip flops #idiots] we turned around for a second and OH HEY HOLLYWOOD SIGN! i'm not sure why the sign holds so much magic in my heart, but it just does. it was so surreal to be up there with my best friend knowing we live here now, + think back on our entire lives + how they lead us here!! ahhh so crazy, so weird, so good. 

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after a good bit of sightseeing + shedding tears [not really ;) but i could have!] about how amazing our city is, we headed back down + said our goodbyes, knowing we'd see each other next week! ha! we headed to the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM last sunday + both died, so i'll be posting that recap from the grave. cheers to lifelong friends + amazing views! 

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post + images by molly garvin

THIS + THAT'S CHICAGO ICE CREAM CRAWL!

guys!!! i'm so excited to announce THIS + THAT'S CHICAGO ICE CREAM CRAWL! i had seriously so much fun creating T+T's chicago coffee crawl last year, + i knew i had to do another! so, i reached out to all of you through instagram stories + asked you to vote for either ice cream or donuts --- as you probably guessed, ice cream won out, but don't worry donut lovers... there's still time for us :) please watch the little film - i hope you enjoy it! keep reading for more photos of each location, as well as our opinions on each spot. also, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to youtube! 

before this, i had only eaten rolled ice cream once, + it was just a sample! buuuuut, i have officially tasted it in it's full form + can say that i am 100% team rolled ice cream! we all decided it was surprisingly creamy, + it's so fun being able to watch the employees make it right in front of you. the only thing is, it gets super crowded [we went at 2pm on a tuesday + had to wait about 15-20 minutes]

as mentioned in the video, jeni's isn't specific to chicago, but it is absolutely still worth adding to the crawl! the unique flavors are what makes jeni's so awesome. by their names, the flavors might sound a little funky, but no matter how crazy the title, they always taste amazing!

maaaaaybe the most instagramable food items available for purchase in the city of chicago --- + seriously, they taste as good as they look! bombo bar has great walk-up window + is actually a side biz of bar sienna, which resides right next door. they also serve meal-type food, + their treats are available all year round! they have a version of the chocolate milkshake that they serve as hot chocolate in the inter, + it is seriously a must have while you're in the windy city!! 

cone is great for the traditional ice cream route, but they also give their own spin to sundaes + cones! i'm not sure why we didn't see them when we were there [you know we would have gotten a lucky charm covered cone!!] but the ice cream we had was still amazing! it's also in the best location, + almost everyone who works there is irish - fun little fact! they also sell irish candy + other products specific to the green country!

are you craving a scoop yet? ;) i hope you've added at least one of these places to your travel bucket list + enjoyed the video as much as i did while making it! stay tuned for even more chicago crawls + guides, but in the meantime, see all my chicago favorirtes here, T+T's chicago coffee crawl here, + subscribe to youtube for future videos here! 

post by molly garvin

film + photos by molly + claire garvin, edited by molly garvin

CITY TRIPS + NEW GEMS

if you've been reading the blog for sometime now, you know that i'm always down for a city adventure. last weekend, my cousin alicia was in town, so claire + i decided to head to one of our favorite spots, left coast food + juice, for a little friday night acai bowl fix. we got dressed up, plunged ourselves into the chicago traffic [#bullsgame], + enjoyed a night out. 

can we just talk about this gorgeous necklace for a sec!? it's the rahisi horn necklace from jimani collections, + i'm in looooove! jimani "exists to transform and expand access to economic opportunity for artisans in underserved communities worldwide" + i've loved getting to know their company! they work with some of the poorest women in the world who have experienced a reality that is unfathomable to most of the earth's population. through training programs, they offer work + schooling that educates them + makes beautiful pieces of jewelry in the process. "by building a bridge between consumers and artisans, we are able to promote equitable trade while alleviating widespread poverty". companies like this are seriously the best, especially when their products are as cute as these! 

left coast seriously has the yummiest food, + it's all vegan! we enjoyed our smoothies + grain bowls, chatted about a ton of stuff, + just hung out like girls do, ya know!?! ;) cheers to pretty necklaces + city adventures + yummy food + friends! 

SPRING BREAK 2017 | CARMEL + MONTEREY

carmel might just be the cutest town i've ever stayed in. our hotel, the carmel inn + suites, was the nicest little place [it totally reminded me of the saguaro in palm springs!] we were originally supposed to stay longer, but cut the trip down to one day to have more time in LA --- i kinda regret doing that, just because i wish we had more time to explore this perfect little beach town. just another reason to go back, i guess. ;) [see part one of our spring break here!]

we spent a good amount of time at the pool + on the beach, because vacay. the decor around the pool was so cute + summery --- the perfect place to spend the day. 

right when we pulled up to the hotel, the smell of flowers was overwhelming! [in a good way!!] we had to take some photos by the blooms, they were so pretty! 

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i've gotten a lot of questions about by backpack on instagram --- it's from atlas supply co, a fabulous company that i'm creating something really fun for! stay tuned!

before dinner, we stopped at the beach to watch the sunset. after, we found a very, um, unique, ice cream place called revival. it was very california/vegan/health place, but it was actually very good! 

the next morning, we had breakfast + explored the coast a little more before packing up + heading on to san francisco. carmel, we will definetly be back! 

stay tuned for the third installment, if you will ;), of our spring break trip. you can watch + read the first part, los angeles + pasadena, here! have a great week friends! 

SPRING BREAK 2017 | LA + PASADENA

LA, you captured my heart for the second time. our whole trip to california was amazing, but the days we spent exploring los angeles were really special. i'd only been there once before on a college visit, so it was awesome to return + be able to have time to do whatever we felt like doing! we started off the trip with allllll the touristy things - hollywood boulevard, warner brother's studio tour, etc. all i can say is that the tour was one of the greatest things i have ever done in my life + i'm not ashamed to say it! movie magic is real, you guys. if you get a chance to tour the WB studios, DO IT. it's the coolest. 

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we drove around in these little 15-person carts as our tour guide showed us the different sets. it's actually a huge lot, + it's crazy to think about just how many people work in those 142 acres!

^^^ this photo might not mean anything to you, but this is the spot they used for the scene in gilmore girls when rory hits a deer with her car on the way to chilton. my sister + fangirled [i hate that word, but it's true] hard --- so freakin' cool!

ryan gosling stood on this very set, so we're kinda like BFF's now, it's no big deal. but seeing the lala land set in person was another amazing experience! we also got to see multiple gilmore girls spots [including the stars hollow town square, which is actually used for like 1000 different productions] and fuller house shooting locations. 

we also got to walk around the giant prop warehouse where directors and set designers can come and tag items they want to use for their movies! often they'll use codenames like "titanic" as to keep the details of their movie a secret, which was really interesting see. 

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aaaaaand the famous, long-awaited friends couch! would you take me seriously if i said that maybe the whole reason we went on this tour was to sit on this piece of furniture? THE COOLEST. yes, it is the real couch, which made the whole experience like a million times more awesome. all in all, if you have the chance to take this tour - DON'T pass it up. 

one of our favorite stops on the trip was after's ice cream. they have locations all throughout california, but we went to the one in pasadena. the ice cream was amazing + the toppings were the cherry on top [pun intended ;)] - i highly recommend.  

the morning after afters [ha!], we thought we'd balance out the ice cream cones with some healthy juice aka. juice served here, which was luckily right around the corner from our hotel! i'd only been there once two years ago, + it's changed so much, but only for the better! they serve food now, so it's perfect if you want juice + breakfast in the morning or a snack in the afternoon!

we also stopped in intelligentsia to get a bit of food + caffeine to compliment our juice. they had so many different pastries - we got a churro croissant + a matcha croissant. as you can probably tell from the photos, they were delicious. 

okay --- from one pastry to the next! [i'm beginning to feel like these CA posts will basically be food journals #noshame] california donuts will forever be one of my favorite locations on the entire earth, i'm not exaggerating. 

^^^ peeps. donut. 

AND A REESES DONUT ARE YOU KIDDING ME OKAY YES CALIFORNIA DONUTS I LOVE YOU

we took our donuts to the beach, layed around all morning, got way to sunburnt, + explored santa monica pier. no one in my family had ever been to the pier before, so it was super fun to just walk around, explore, + be tourists. it also made for the best pictures! 

^^^ all the sibs in one photo + i'm kinda obsessed with it. that light flare!!

after our day at the beach, we packed up + said our goodbyes to LA. am i narcissistic for posting multiple pictures of myself + our travels? hahah i don't care! + also how amazing is my backpack from atlas supply co?! more on that later, friends! plus, part two + three of our CA spring break recap will be up soon - stay tuned! 

p.s. you're a BOSS for making it all the way down here! i promise the other two recaps will be shorter. maybe, idk. ;)

post by molly garvin

film + images by molly + claire garvin