Treat Yourself Tuesday: Weekend of Sports!

This weekend was dubbed by the boyfriend and I as the Weekend of Sports. Which when said out loud, should always be said “Weekend of Spoooooooorts!”

Friday night we ended up with some slightly last minute Blackhawks hockey tickets. This is only the second time I’ve been able to go to a Blackhawks game, and it was just as fun as last time! However they’ve lost both times we’ve gone, so I guess there’s room for improvement. 😉

Saturday morning I drug my post-late-night-hockey-game butt out of bed to go sneak in 10 miles before beginning Saturday’s festivities. I crawled home, and got ready in slow motion (seriously, who can hurry after running 10 miles?) to head up to Milwaukee to meet my parents.

First stop (after Dunkin black coffee, of course) was the Miller Brewery tour! We have gone on micro-brewery tours before, but never one of this size. Um… WOW! Obviously Miller-Coors produces and ships out a lot of beer, but they ship out A LOT OF BEER. This specific facility ships in a 4 state-ish radius. An entire FOURTY PERCENT of the beer they produce goes to the city of Chicago. After this statistic there was much cheering. There were a few Chicagoans in the crowed as there was a Brewers-Cubs game in a few hours about 10 minutes away. Our next stop! The end of the tour was sampling… woo hoo! And it was a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy some delicious beer.


Then… baseball! This is the weekend of sports, after all. The Brewers even won! Not that it really matters, they effectively eliminated themselves from the playoffs last week, but considering it was the Cubs, any victory is sweet. After SO MANY MONTHS leading the division. #Stillbitter. But it was still fun, for being so high up, the seats were pretty great!

The weekend of sports continued Sunday with the Packers-Bears game. But no… we didn’t actually go to this one. We spectated from the couch. Which was probably good, weekend of sports is exhausting! However… I was invigorated after a PACKERS WIN! Sorry, not sorry! Boyfriend on the other hand… extremely disappointed.

And now after all those sports and the accompanying sports food, I need to reintroduce water over beer, and green food over… all the friend things. But it was a fantastic weekend full of treats, perfect for linking up with Becky at Olives ‘n’ Wine and Treat Yourself Tuesday! Head on over there to see how other people are treating themselves!

High Five for Friday ~ Link Up

Not that I don’t say this every week, but YAY Friday!  This week has been on the stressful side.  Suddenly there are a million decisions I need to make, and just when I thought I had them all figured out (not the actual decisions, just the list of decisions), I had to add a few more.  I am NOT a good decision maker.

Luckily, it’s Friday.  Where hopefully the biggest decisions I’ll have to make are wine or beer.  To celebrate, I’m linking up with Lauren over at Lauren Elizabeth. She hosts the Link Up “High Five for Friday.” How great of a name is that?  Go check it out!

So what’s going on currently?

1) To complete the last item on my summer bucket list, tomorrow we are headed up to Milwaukee to go to a Brewers game! Now when we bought these tickets they were still in contention for the playoffs. Now… not so much. Ah well, we’re playing the Cubs, so playoffs or not I’d like to see the Cubs lose.

2) Over the past week or so I’ve been able to put some of my type-A organization skills to use. There are excel spreadsheets. Anything with spreadsheets is a good thing in my book. Yes, I’m aware I’m weird.

3) Songs. I CANNOT get enough of Bailando by Enrique Iglesias and All About That Bass by Megan Trainor. I wish I could listen all day every day. Repeat.

4) More sports! Sunday brings around the first Packers/Bears game of the season. As a Packers fan, I always like to crush the Bears. As the Packers-fan-girlfriend-of-a-Bears-fan, victory is just that much sweeter.


5) It’s the last weekend of September. Now part of me isn’t all that excited for fall. I like pumpkin and scarves as much as the next person, but I’m not quite ready to leave summer. That being said, the next few months are going to be good ones! Not related to fall, just exciting things next in life. Bring on October and November!

I am stoked for this weekend.  Sports! Family! Beer!  Oh and a 10 mile training run, but then I will be rewarded with the aforementioned fun.  Have a great weekend!

What do you have scheduled for this weekend?

Drop it Like a Squat

Happy Tuesday!  Hopefully your Monday and return to the work week weren’t too painful.  To kick off Tuesday I am going to link up with Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Nicole at The Fit Pepper for The Fit Dish link up!  Last week was the first week and there were a lot of great links!  Here’s to week two!

I’ve mentioned a few times that through this half marathon training my knees have been hurting.  This doesn’t really surprise me that much because I’ve got crazy knees to begin with.  I played soccer for about 10 years, which is hard on your knees to begin with, and I got hurt once.  It was high school, so the crutches weren’t used as much as they should have been.  My dad has bad knees as well, so yay genetics!  At the same time, I don’t recall them hurting this much last time I was training for a half.

So I consulted Dr. Google.  Yes, yes, shame on me, but I figured I’d check it out first.  A few articles, Runner’s World and the like, and a few videos later (This one was quite informative), I’m all educated and ready to fix all my ailments. (Ha!)  Stretch, foam roll, and strengthen your quads.  Yes, nothing new.  But why oh why didn’t I hurt like this last time.  And then I remembered.  Last time around I was doing one of those squat challenges that floats around the interwebs.  Maybe I was preventing injury to my knees when I was really just hoping for a nice tush (who wouldn’t!).  The more I thought about it, I remember being impressed with my new found leg muscles when I was training, but maybe it was the squats!  Sometimes I’m a little slow on putting it all together.  So…. I’m going to do the squat challenge again! Hopefully strengtheing my legs will help out my knees, along with keeping stretching, icing and rolling. (I have The Stick.  Loooove it!)

I’m doing this one from Popsugar.  It’s the same one I did last time.  It includes 3 different squats, and then two variations, so 5 different squats which is nice for 1) working different muscles and 2) fending off boredom.  I’m not about to do 200 typical squats.  Booooring.  Make me do a sequence of different variations and I am more likely to stick with it!  I started Sunday evening, so today is day three!

Want to join me? I’ll be squatting away in my room.  On the chevron rug for a little extra cheer.  Here’s the PDF to download and print.  We will all have pain-free knees (hopefully) and excellent bums.  It will be a good time!


Last.  I’d like this.  Just in case I didn’t have enough work out tops.  

Have you ever participated in a Pinterest / Facebook / etc fitness challenge?  Apparently it was a good thing I did last time!

Friday Five: Current Favorites!

FRIDAY! Woo hoo! We’ve made it, everyone. And I’m super excited it’s Friday, because that means tomorrow is Saturday. And Saturday is the day the boyfriend returns! He’s been gone since last Saturday for work, and it’s been a bummer. One more day!

Friday means the Friday Five with the DC ladies Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run! This week’s theme is “My Five Favorite ___.” I am going to go with Five Random Current Favorites!

“These are a few of my favorite things….” Cue Maria dancing through the mountains…

1) Coffee. I don’t think there would be a time ever where coffee would not be on my list of favorite things. It’s warm and cozy, and makes me a much happier person! During the week at work, I am all about black coffee. By the time I get to the end of the week, I have mini-celebrations with “Starbucks Fridays.” It doesn’t happen every week, but love it when it does!


2) Toms. It has suddenly become fall in Illinois. If my toes can’t be free and in flip flops, Toms are the next best thing! Even during the summer, I have a bit of a Toms tan going on. Love. Them.


3) Water bottle. Really, this should say plural water bottles. I have so many. But the latest favorite is this cute guy. He’s glass! Considering all of the terrible things that plastic apparently does to our bodies, I figured I could spring for a glass bottle. I use it every day, and I just can’t say no to cute things. (Side note… “Shirts with thumb holes” could have been number 6 on this list…)


4) Arm candy! And by arm candy I mean my fitbit + Garmin + RoadID that I wear running. I look a little ridiculous, but I can’t decide who would stay home when I run, so I just wear them all. I feel like the scene in Back to the Future where Doc checks like four different watches, and says, “Damn!” after each one? It’s a stretch, but that’s what I feel like. Haha.


5) New glasses! I went back and forth on these when I was at the eye doctor last. Then I couldn’t commit, went home, dreamt about them for a week, went back, annoyed my boyfriend by still not being able to commit and then finally decided I could get them. I’m so glad I did! I really don’t wear glasses much though; contacts win out almost every day. But still! With glasses this cute, maybe they’ll make an appearance more often.


What are some of your current favorites?

Have a great weekend!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: In Pictures

Considering I posted earlier today with The Fit Dish Link up, I figured I wouldn’t post about my treats lately. Well, that’s not happening anymore. Double post, Tuesday!  We’re gonna go heavy on the pictures, light on the words!  Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday Link Up is always fun!

Back in June, my boyfriend bought us Zac Brown Band tickets as an anniversary present. (Total treat!) But… then he ended up having to travel for word this week. (Total not a treat!) Then… I invited my dad, and him and I went to the concert!  After surviving 8 freezing miles, and warming up with a latte (Treat!), I headed back home to ice my knees and relax before my dad got to my apartment.

I had bought parking ahead of time through ParkWhiz, which may not seem like a treat.  But it is!  I hate dealing with parking. Side track! Do you know about ParkWhiz? If not, you should. They work with different garages and give you the ability to purchase guaranteed parking ahead of time.  We just scanned the QR code on the reader at the gate and the gate opens.  Same thing on the way out.  A lot of the time we’ve found it’s cheaper, too!  Try it!  We can both get $5! Easy peasy.

Pre-concert we had dinner at Goose Island.  Yum!

Goose Island

Then the concert!  Cheap Trick played before Zac Brown Band.  I could have done without them, but Zac Brown was EXCELLENT.  I’ve never been to a concert at Wrigley Field before, and it was a lot of fun!




Sunday was spent relaxing.  Coffee with a friend, followed by a Green Bay Packers win!  Green and gold!

Tuesday evening I had wine and appys with a friend.  Love bruschetta! Lots of fun to catch up with her!



Hope all of your weeks are off to a fabulous start!  Good night, everyone!


Half Marathon Training: Weeks 7 and 8

Half Marathon training is plugging along. Just under two months to go!  Here’s the first month, and Weeks 5 and 6!

To go along with this recap, I am going to link up with Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Nicole at The Fit Pepper for their first The Fit Dish Link Up!  So Exciting!

Week 7 kicked off Labor Day, which meant the long weekend was filled with lots of yummy food and drink. Back at it on Tuesday though, with a few miles up and down a hill by my apartment.

Wednesday with the group we ran “one loop” of our trail, which rounds out at 5.5 miles. This was the same distance we had run for the long run the Saturday prior. The time on Wednesday was about 20 seconds different from the Saturday prior. I was impressed with our consistency!

Saturday’s long run I was hurting a little for. Just under 7 miles, and my knees and hips were bugging me (not good). Luckily I had a big day of nada planned after the run. I did a little shopping, and a lot of relaxing. Excellent recuperation!

Week 8 of the training plan was a disaster of a week at work. Not really an excuse not to work out, but it is what it is.

Wednesday rolled around and I hadn’t worked out yet. When I left for work the weather was AWFUL. All day long it was beyond dark, gloomy and just gross. I was so excited that I didn’t have to go run! HA, says the weather and it got sunny and beautiful about an hour before I was supposed to leave work. Go figure. So I hauled my bum over to go run and, go figure, I had a good time. Imagine that. A few miles in there was this cloud, though. It was not gradual at all, just a cliff of cloud. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t take my phone in preparation for downpour. It started misting and it got pretty dark, but that’s all it did was mist. I was worried we were going to get whipped off to Oz! Can you click your Saucony’s to get back home? Anyway, it was a pretty good run. It was so much cooler than it had been, and we were flying! We ran six miles in one minute more than we had been running 5.5. Woo! Improvement! (Or cooler weather, either way). I was hurting again, and iced my knee when I got home. Only one though, I only had one ice pack in the freezer. The rest of the week my other knee has been hurting. I don’t know if it is hurting just because (it does that sometimes) or if it really could have used some ice too…

Saturday’s long run was COLD.  I was not prepared for 42 degrees! The first few miles were less than fun, but after two miles or so, I got the feeling back in my fingers and powered through 8 miles.

8 miles

I felt pretty good; eight miles is the longest I’ve run since my last half marathon in May.  The knees though… I need to figure out what to do about the pain in the knees.  latte

These two weeks were OK. The quantity of runs was meh, but the quality of the runs was pretty good. Week 9 though, this girl has plans! A running buddy can’t make it to the group on Wednesday, so we got together on  today .  Then I have a run-then-wine date with another friend on Tuesday. Wednesday and Saturday, group runs as usual. Excited!

Friday Five: Bloggers!

Happy Friday!  And can I say FINALLY?  Wowza this was a long week.  Work was hectic…  they’re rearranging our cubes at work so I was evicted to a conference room with a couple other ladies.  Which hasn’t been too bad, it’s just a little extra stress.  Ah well. Weekend!  And there is FUN in store! Yay!
But before we get to the weekend, here is some fun for Friday.  This week’s Friday Five hosted by the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run is all about bloggers!  It was SO HARD to narrow it down to five!  So without further ado… in no particular order… some new blogs for your feed!
1) Back to Her Roots.  I first started reading Cassie’s blog back in 2011 when a friend sent me a link to one of her A Day In My Life posts.  After that, I never looked back.  I’ve been an avid reader of not only her blog, but it was a gateway into all of my blog reading (and eventually blogging myself!)  Cassie shares great stories about her adventures living in Southern Indiana with her family, growing her own food and taking gorgeous photographs of all of it.  She introduced me to overnight oats!  On her blog along side her delicious recipes focusing on real whole foods, she shares fun DIYs and has great thoughts on life.  She is all about seasons of life, and understanding that priorities and goals change along with these seasons.
2) Pearls & Scissors.  Hanna’s blog is on a completely different note!  I also quite enjoy reading DIY blogs.  Hanna lives in Estonia and sews and refashions adorable clothes like this.  And this.  Also, she just got married and you can read about Estonian wedding traditions (which was really cool).
3) PreventionRD.  Nicole blogs about food.  Lots of it.  My love of baked donuts is because of her blog.  She always shares nutrition stats, and I love it when she gives a “husband approval.”  Some of my favorite recipes of hers are Spicy Thai Noodles with Shrimp and Parmesan Lemon Orzo which we made along with chicken.  Seriously, I will never run out of recipe ideas with her site.  She has published two cookbooks; I have the Everyday Healthy Cooking and love it.  Also, she is currently adorably very pregnant.
4) Olives’n’Wine.  Becky both cracks me up, and motivates me.  She is basically a rock star.  She’s training for the Chicago Marathon, just completed Body Pump training, and has the cutest wardrobe.  Her antics running around Chicago (soon to be Florida! Jealous!) are never ending fun.
 5) Life Half Full.  Katie’s blog’s tagline is “living a balanced life with a positive attitude” and she strives each day to live this out.  Throughout each post she shows how she works towards balance in her life.  She posts Weekly Refresh posts, to reset and set goals for the week, which has inspired me to set mini-goals each week as well.  She has a lot of fun in Chicago too, and I enjoy reading about here new adventures and new workouts!
Fave Blogs

Treat Yourself Tuesday: So Many Treats!

Yesterday was one of those Mondays that was just REALLY Monday-ish. I was calling for a re-do or fast-forward-to-tomorrow before I even got to work. While getting ready for work, I spilled my lunch on the floor and my blender wouldn’t blend my smoothie. Later I found out that while I put the chia seeds in my smoothie, I didn’t really stir them so I ended up with a gigantic chia seed glob of gross in the middle of it. Blech!

Luckily, lately my life has been full of ALL THE TREATS.  Which is certainly not a bad thing and thinking about them will cheer me up! I am going to link up with Becky over at Olives ‘n’ Wine for Treat Yourself Tuesday to tell you all about them.  Head on over there to see more treats!

Last week on day the boyfriend brought me flowers!  I didn’t so much treat myself, but it was still a lovely surprise 🙂


Next… food!

Thursday marked the beginning of FOOTBALL SEASON!  To celebrate, we cooked up these delicious baked tacos, from Nicole over at PreventionRD.  Friday for more delicious eats, we went out for crepes for dinner.  These are not your average crepes, they are filled with heaven.  My favorite is the Kickin’ Chicken which has chicken, bacon, cheddar, buffalo sauce and ranch.  SO GOOD.  The dessert ones aren’t delicious as well, but we didn’t have any this time.  I also treated myself to a Hobby Lobby stop on the way back home, boyfriend didn’t even whine, as I wandered around changing my mind 548,205 times!



On Saturday, post long run I decided to treat myself to Whole Foods breakfast bar.  My running group meets about a minute and a half from a Whole Foods, so I have to convince myself not to go every time I meet with them.  That french toast bake?  YUM.  Breakkie Pizza? Fabulous.  And I swear there was some fruit too, it might just be hiding under the post-run carb pile.

Later in the afternoon I treated myself to a Starbucks.  I ordered a “grande latte” and she looked at me like I was nuts.  “What kind of latte?”  Now I was looking at her like she was nuts.  “Just a latte, please. But I will have skim milk.”  Apparently this is not a normal beverage?  It’s certainly my go to!



Sunday, in between watching more football, I made this jewelry hanger! (With some help from the boyfriend… I did not know where the drill and drill bits were kept…).  The picture is a little terrible as my closet is a dungeon, and there isn’t much hanging on it yet, but trust me, it’s so cute. And I LOVE it!

On that cheerful note, I’m off to attempt today’s smoothie.  Hopefully it’s more successful than yesterday!  Happy Tuesday!


Be Awesome

I’m heading off for a Saturday long run, but first, some motivation.  The half marathon I am running in November sends our a newsletter each with tips, advice and race update information.  I usually read through these to see if I can pick up any new information.  Through these newsletters I have learned things like… the shirts are pretty cool.  And that there will be Gatorade on the course, which got me thinking maybe I should train with Gatorade to see if it helps. (Conclusion… Nah.  Water has always been there for me, we’re old pals and we will stick together.)  And this time the news letter rolls into my inbox titled, “Get Ready for AWESOME.” …. OK!  Who wouldn’t be excited?!

The AWESOME turned out to be three tips from the Race Director, Pat Leonard, on how to be… you guessed it… AWESOME.  And ya know what?  She was totally right.  Her three tips made me laugh because they’re so simple, and just so right.

How to be Awesome in just three steps, Courtesy of the Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon’s Newsletter:

1) Your Workouts
2) Your Nutrition
3) Your Sleep

These are all things I know.  For workouts, stick to the plan.  There’s a plan for a reason. Follow it and all will be good.  For nutrition, she says, “Garbage in and you will feel ike garbage during your training runs.”  Lean protein and veggies, lean protein and veggies.  I can do that! Sleep.  Who needs a reason a reason to sleep more?  Well I do apparently. Everytime I tell myself I’m going to go to bed at a reasonable time, and then this, that and the other thing happens and it’s an hour past reasonable.  Ugh.  I need to focus more on sleep!

I hope this provides you some more inspiration like it gave me!

I’m off to be awesome and run my long run!  Have a great weekend!
Head on over HERE to see this edition of the news letter, and HERE for the whole archive!

Friday Five: Race Rituals

It’s Friday!  You know what that means.  Yes, the weekend starts at 5:00pm, but more importantly, the Friday Five link up!  Thanks to the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run for hosting!

This week’s theme…Race Day Rituals. Now I know that some folks are super dedicated to their night before and morning of prep.  I am, too… sometimes.

1)   I always make up some overnight oats in a mason jar the night before a race.  Oats, almond milk, chia seeds and strawberries.   Yum!  When boyfriend runs a race with me, he has even started asking for oats pre-race!

2) I *try* to lay out my outfit the night before a race.  But I’m not always very good at it; sometimes I just can’t be bothered the night before.  Ha!  For my last half we stayed in a hotel, so I laid out my outfit the morning before the race, plugged in my Garmin, and then packed everything.  At the hotel, I laid it out again and… no Garmin.  Shout out to the boyfriend who drove the 45 minutes back to my apartment, grabbed my Garmin and came back to the hotel! However, somehow it took him quite a bit less time to drive there and back than it did when I was in the car with him…

3) The next morning, after getting dressed and grabbing my oats for the road, I do another gear check.  After I ran a race without headphones (boooo…..) and a friend ran a race without a bib (super booooo!!), I stand in the doorway and run through everything I need.  Shoes? Check. Shades? Check. Flipbelt?  Race bib? Phone? Headphones? Check, check, check, check … out the door!


4)  Arrive at race… Porta-potty.  ‘Nuf said.  If there is a “Race Day Ritual” list without porta potty on it… they’re lying. 🙂 Only once did I have a still-in-line-for-the-loo problem when my corral started.  Stressful!

5) After the race, find water, and then obsessively check race results.  Why aren’t you instant, results?  I crossed the finish line 3 minutes ago, I want to see my time online! Some races this works out for me (like… the gigantic Shamrock Shuffle) others… not so much (every small town race ever).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

What are your race-day essentials?