Outfits featured below have been styled by Seaside Boutique. You can purchase these looks and many more at their website for 20% off with the code “Nicole20″.
For the sake of this post, let’s pretend that the weather this past weekend didn’t take a disappointing 40 degree drop in the matter of twelve hours. The days prior to that were unmistakably beautiful, and beautiful weather always makes me reminisce on all of my happiest moments. Thanks to Mother Nature (or global warming), this weekend’s weather inspired me to compile a list of all of the little things that have made me happy in my new, temporary home of Bloomington, IN.
Top (left and bottom): Off The Shoulder Top with Bell Sleeves
Top (right): Lavender Cold Shoulder Top
If you’ve had the chance to talk to me personally since my time in school, you’ve probably heard a multitude of my (bad) jokes about the little town of Bloomington. I’ve been known to say that the meat isn’t real, that the doctors in the health center are actors, and that I even feel like I’m part of some Prank’d type show sometimes. Yes, I probably will continue avoid dining-hall served meat like no one’s business while I’m here, but I must say that I’m a little harsh on this quaint town sometimes. I enjoyed taking a moment to collect my thoughts about all that I appreciate here, and I encourage you all to do the same. There’s hidden gems in every place, and once you find them, it makes the searching all worth-while!
what i love about beautiful btown:
carbolite ice cream
Carbolite ice cream makes the top of this list, without a doubt. As a true ice cream addict, this has been my newfound guardian angel here at college ensuring I do not fall victim to the freshman fifteen. Carbolite is this mysterious soft-serve substance served at two ice cream shops around town. No one really knows exactly what it’s made from, but there seems to be a general consensus that it is composed of some sort of mixture of whey protein and greek yogurt. The best part? It’s carb-free and only 8 calories per ounce!! It tastes exactly like ice cream and is extra delicious when mixed with puppy chow topping and marshmallow sauce (thank you for the genius combo, Annie). I truly don’t know what I will do once I have to leave IU and Carbolite behind, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
A hidden gem of Bloomington is all of these painted brick walls around downtown. Between alleyways and behind buildings, there are giant walls painted with all types of colors and designs. It makes Bloomington special, and makes a crazy good backdrop for photos! I never got the opportunity to appreciate these until this past weekend. I decided to take my Seaside Boutique clothes and my very willing and cooperative friend Amanda downtown to take some pictures against Bloomington’s finest art. Afterwards, we got Carbolite ice cream…it only seemed right!
peanut butter coffee
I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE coffee. I’m a tea person forever, green tea latte to be specific. That is, with one exception. Bloomington is in no shortage of sweet little coffee shops around town, and one in particular has the only coffee that I will ever confidently be able to say that I love. Soma has a latte that has peanut butter and dark chocolate in it and I love every last bit of it. They have a cute ‘lil porch to sip it on, illuminated by string lights in the middle of town. I feel like the most cliche coffee shop tourist while I’m there and I couldn’t love it more.
Growing up, I wasn’t much of a nature person at all. Over my years of high school and my relationship with Jake, I’ve learned to love outdoor adventures and all that nature brings (besides bugs, I’ll never not hate bugs). I’m lucky enough to be a five minute drive away from Griffy Lake, a beautiful reservoir that offers kayaking and canoeing in the warm months, and beautiful views year round. I’ve gotten the opportunity to both canoe there and set up hammock there when canoeing was closed. It’s such a fun little excursion for when you need some fresh air outside of IU.
Call me sheltered (maybe?), but I didn’t even know fire towers were a thing, let alone you could CLIMB them, before coming down to Bloomington. They lead you to the most beautiful of views, but they’re definitely not for the people weary of heights. Ever since coming to Bloomington, I’ve been able to trek my way up two fire towers and become mesmerized by the breathtaking views it provides. Jake and I found ourselves a map of all of the fire towers still standing in Indiana and we’re already planning on visiting more! Not many people know about these, but it’s truly an awe-inspiring experience that more people need to take advantage of while down here.
having everything within arms reach
It is so easy to just come to school, do what’s required, and leave without touching a bit of everything we are so privileged to have around us. One piece that I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to experience, and I want to take advantage of so much more, is the discount Broadway tickets to shows held at IU’s very own auditorium. Growing up, I remember driving in the car singing my heart out to Mamma Mia! with my mom. After hearing it was coming to IU, my friends and I all decided to take advantage of the incredibly cheap tickets to get dressed up and see the show on it’s farewell tour. It was nothing short of amazing and it’s one of the best memories I have from freshman year.
We all heard it during orientation, but not enough people take advantage of it for all it’s worth. Bloomington has the #2 most ethnic cuisines per capita, trailing behind only NYC. The reason for this is 4th street in downtown Bloomington. Walking down 4th street, you feel like you’re flying all around the world with every step. From Indian, to Greek, to Cajun, to Turkish, you have every cuisine at your fingertips. My personal favorites are MyThai’s red curry and International Market’s $5 giant gyros (you heard that right!!).
my incredible friends
Last but not least, I’m so thankful for my incredible friends I’ve made this year. Sure, I would never wish the task of living in dorms and lacking a proper kitchen on my worst enemy, but it definitely did bring me the best-est of friends. There’s nothing like being able to run a few doors down to open a surprise package, or to always have someone to watch Facebook food videos with you. I’m thankful for all these hidden gems that btown brought me everyday ❤
and with that, I encourage you to take the next unseasonably warm day, or any day, to reflect on all the hidden gems that surround you. You never know what you’ll find!
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