TYT: Save the Date!


Happy Tuesday, Friends!

During the holidays, is it not remotely hard to treat yourself, and from the looks of my weekend, I have not been holding back.

Friday my fiancé and I mailed out save the dates. This was partly stressful, and partly really exciting! Many thoughts were flying through my head as we were getting them ready, such as “What if no one comes!?” and “There’s no possible way I have spelled everyone’s name and address right” aaaand “Who have we forgotten?” But off they went on Friday! So what’s done is done, and hopefully those people who have spelling errors forgive me!

save the dates

After mailing them off we went to the mall and did some Christmas shopping. We must have accomplished something considering by the end we were hauling around 436,000 bags. With only one gift to myself.

Saturday I laid in bed until about 10. I was awake for a few hours, but ddidn’tget out of bed. It was glorious. It’s be a loooong time since I could take a Saturday morning to watch TV. I was leisurely working on some wedding decorations. I love crafting! My bridesmaids (3 out of 4 girls could make it) arrived at my house around lunch time, and after grabbing some Portillo’s for lunch we went to an appointment to try on some bridesmaid dresses. After changing my mind about 50 times, I decided on one! I think. I changed my mind about the dress. Then I changed my mind about the material, thus changing my mind about the dress again. Then I changed my mind about the color. Why do they come in so many shades? We rewarded ourselves with Starbucks, and then we went back and I got them in on the wedding crafting games. I’m not sure they were as excited as I was, but we all still had a good time chatting. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as we’d like!

flowers

Sunday after church, fiance and I took a trip into Chicago.  We had a jam-packed day!  First we went to the Christkindlmarket.  We went to the one at a local mall a few weeks ago, but had to be sure we hit up the real deal.  We walked over to Eatly, and did some shopping with a glass of wine.  That’s my kind of shopping!  We went over to the new Maggie Daley Park to watch the ice skaters.

One of the places we walked past was part of the route for the Shamrock Shuffle.  Which brings back memories from my first Shamrock Shuffle.  We were about half a mile from the starting line, so there were still a tone of people very close together.  We were running over one of the lift bridges which are very uneven, and next thing I know… BOOM.  I tripped and fell on my hands and knees.  I was a little embarrassed, but I would have been SO much more embarrassed if I had caused a pile up.  There ended up only being one person behind me who managed to lurch out of the way, and then helped me up.  Which I can’t say for my friend who was  laughing hysterically!  Which I probably would have done to her, so I suppose it’s fine.  I’ll link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers for the Fit Dish, because they’re talking about fitness mishaps today! Go on and check it out, but don’t laugh too hard at them 😉

We grabbed some Jimmy Johns for dinner, and then head over to the Chicago Theater for the days main event!

theater

A few weeks ago I managed to win a contest from a Chicago radio station for tickets to Straight No Chaser.  They’re an a cappella group and they’re fantastic.

Here’s a their version of The 12 Days of Christmas.

They did some Christmas songs as well as some non Chirstmas, like Let It Go, and a mash up of 2014 hits like Taylor Swift and Iggy Azalea.  I would highly recommend seeing them if you have the chance!

I’ll also link up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!  Go check out how other people are treating themselves around the holidays!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: The Best Treat Ever!

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with Becky over Olives ‘n’ Wine and Treat Yourself Tuesday!  I’m never any good at remembering to take pictures, so these are some random snaps from over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago at work I decided I earned a treat in the form of this delicious drink.  All that sugar, it’s definitely a few and far between treat 🙂

Sanpell

That same night, the boyfriend and I went for a walk at a local arboretum and were treated to this beautiful sunset.

mortonI was then treated by the boyfriend fiance to the best surprise EVER.  Don’t mind the terrible picture… it was dark and selfies are hard when you’re SO EXCITED.  I’ve been dating this amazing man for nearly four and a half years, and I could not be more happy!

surprise

All this excitement was followed by celebratory pizza! And beer! And wine! And ice cream!  (And followed the next morning by a rough 12 mile run…)

pizza

Since that wonderful evening?  I’ve been all-the-wedding-things! Somewhere in between my dream wedding and reality 🙂

One dream? The Palmer House Chicago.  This building is just gorgeous.  Did you know that brownies were invented at the Palmer House?  Mrs. Palmer requested a dessert for a group of ladies during the Chicago World’s Fair and the Palmer House chefs came up with a brownie.  See?  It’s a great place.

PalmerHouse

Another dream?  The Chicago Cultural Center.  This dome?  Amazing.

CulturalCenter CulturalCenter2

 

And with that, I’m back to day dreaming.  I’ll come back to reality… sometime… maybe 🙂

What is your fantasy wedding location?

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

Friday Five! Race Memories

My main fitness activity is running. There’s no better way to tell you about my journey thus far than to tell you about some races.  I’m going the Friday Five link up with the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run.

1) We’ll go way back, all the way back to my first 5K.  I started running again after I graduated from college and started working full time.  My first 5K was a race supporting a local community college, College of DuPage.  It was a disaster.  Not the race itself, just me.  It was an evening run and I didn’t know what to do for the many hours of the day before hand.  I forgot to eat, then ate at the last minute and had side stitches the whole time.  Hot mess, but I finished.

2) One of my favorite races was the Firefly Run 5K in Chicago. It was pretty warm out, but dark. We ran along the Lake front down town, and it was really cool to see thousands of people running through the dark. The race had given out two red LED arm/leg bands, and then most people also had some glow sticks. Seeing the masses of people boucing through the dark, along Lake Michigan with the Chicago Skyline lit up in the back ground? Gorgeous. The race organization left a little to be desired (come on strollers, to the back!), but over all a highlight.

3) I keep returning to the COD 5k, the race that was my first. So far I have ran it three times. The second year I ran it in 2012 is still my standing PR. I was really tired right off the bat, then I run past the person calling the first mile split, hear thed sub-9 mile time and though, “ah yes… that would make me tired.” But I kept on and kept on. The end of the race runs around about 3/4 of the track at the college.  As I neared the track, I remember thinking, “once you get to the track, pick it up for the end!”  I got around the final turn and could see the clock ticking… 28:50. What?! That got my butt moving and I sailed across the finish line. I knew it was close, but it was a few minutes before I found record of my time. 28:59! Up until then, my goal was “Run a 5K in less than 30.”  Smashed that out of the park, AND got third place in my age group!

4) The start of 2013 was a mess of injuries, more training and impromptu vacations that left my training plans in shambles. My foot injury was mostly cured with new shoes, but I was left with a hurting hip. I was already signed up for a 10K though, and I wasn’t going to DNS on account of “a little pain.” I did what little training I could, and then on that oh so VERY HOT July Chicago morning, we drove into the city for the race. 6:30 am and already about 90 degrees. First three miles? OK. But it just kept getting hotter, and hotter. By about 4-5 it was getting bad. I was in pain, and it was hot. The race finished on the warning track of US Cellular field (Go White Sox!) and even though I thought my hip was going to fall off, I had done it. I came towards the finish line and could hear my boyfriend cheering for me. So hot, so much pain, but that was definitely a race I earned. And even if those types of races hurt physically, there’s something great about knowing that you worked SO hard and succeeded.

5) Saving the big one for last! This past May I ran my first half marathon. It was the First Midwest Bank Half Marathon in Palos Heights, IL. I wouldn’t say I rocked this race, a million things could have gone differently (come back soon for the recap and what I learned!), but I finished. What more can you ask for during your first half? I rocked that medal all day. I do believe I continued to rock the bling even during my post-race nap!

Half1

Finish line of my half!

That’s it for my first Friday Five link up! Thanks, ladies, for hosting!