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!

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Friday Five: Favorites

This week has been one of a kind. No really, I hope this week only happens once in my life.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal, but it has sure made for a long week.  Let me tell you a little story.
Monday work was a little dumb come 5pm, I was more than a little grouchy.  I had plans go to go an event at church with the future in-laws, and had some time to kill before hand so the fiance and I took my car to get an oil change and hang out for a little while in an attempt to cheer me up.  We got to the oil change place and they informed me that over Thanksgiving weekend there had been a run on oil changes, and they didn’t have any of my filter in stock.  We said no big deal and went on our way.
Anyway after a half an hour with the fiance, he had me laughing and smiling which was really the point (oil change, hot date, I know), so off to church I went.  And it was a very nice evening with a big group of ladies at church to kick off the Advent season. Afterwards I went to head home, and my car gave an odd lurch.  Whatever, it’s cold.  I don’t move so well either when it’s 15 degrees outside.  I made it a few miles down the road… another odd non-car-like move.  OK call fiance.  Of course as soon as I called him, it stopped acting weird (isn’t that how it always goes).  And it didn’t do anything odd for a while so we concluded it was just cold.
Then all went wrong at once… the car was NOT working right.   And it all clicked in my mind.  They must not have put the oil cap back on.  My first car back in the day had many oil issues, so I am well acquianed with oil-related car problems… it just took a while for my mind to catch up.  I started screaming on the phone (classy moment), pulled over, and popped the hood to confirm my suspicions. Thank goodness for those iPhone flashlights.  They rock.  Of course in the light I could confirm that there was no oil cap, and what must have been all of the oil that used to be inside the engine was now spewed all over the outside of the engine and every other thing underneath the hood.  BAH.
Driving it any more was simply not an option…. soooo…. called a tow truck, police came (just to ensure no one ran into me as a sitting duck), dragging fiance out of bed to chauffeur me, tow truck took my beautiful blue baby to the dealership to be fixed and cleaned up.  All in all, it worked out fine.  I got my car back after a few days, the oil change place has been really cool about it.  It’s all fixed, so no harm, no foul.  But MAN, was that an adventure I could have done with out.  However, it makes for a hilarious story (now that it’s over).
So moving on.  It’s FRIDAY.  Thank GOODNESS.  This week’s Friday Five link up with the DC Trifecta is Friday Favorites.   Thanks to Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run for hosting!
1) My CAR. I do love my car, and I’m so glad she’s back and good as new. I had two cars before this one that both had a lot of problems. I worked hard to buy it so I could escape constant maintenance (and fear of not ever arriving at my destination!). And she is blue and adorable, those don’t hurt either 😉
car

Christmas jams in the car!

2) This week brought to you by… Coffee. Sleep was a little sparse this week, starting with Monday when it should have taken 30 minutes to drive home but instead took a few hours and then involvement of two trucks. Luckily I had a free drink from Starbucks that I fully took advantage of. My normal drink at Starbucks is pretty tame, grande skim latte. But when I have free ones? Treat yo’ self! Venti! Extra shots of espresso! Feeling wild? Add some vanilla!
3) Thanksgiving, part deux. Fiance was on doctor ordered liquid diet over Thanksgiving weekend. Ummm? Worst Thanksgiving ever! So on Tuesday we re-made Thanksgiving. It was good, but I have some work to do in the homemaker department. Thanksgiving at Grandma’s is infinitely better. Good thing he already agreed to marry me.
thanksgiving
4) Treats!  Thursday after work we went to an outdoor mall close by.  They have a mini outdoor German Christmas market.  Some shopping, some potato pancakes, a brat and a cake pop treat.  Yum!
food
5)  And lastly, this guy.  He’s pretty great.
us
Hope you all have a great weekend planned!  I’m hoping to find some time to relax! What about you?  What do you have planned?

Dresses and a Race

This weekend was PACKED with fun times.
Unfortunately… there is very little photographic evidence of it. Whoops…
However, I was had so much fun, I’m not even that upset there are very few pictures.

Friday the first stop was packet pick up for the race on Sunday, followed by a Chipotle dinner. Yum! Once our bellies were full, we wandered around the mall a little, dreaming about things we want to put on our registry. Eventually we will actually have to pick things instead of just walking around the store pointing at pretty grown up objects like crock pots and silverware.

packet

Saturday morning I went out to breakfast with a friend. We have opposite work schedules, so it’s always a treat to see her. And the two pots of coffee we polished off at the restaurant were a pretty good treat, too 🙂

I headed home after breakfast to wait for my parents to get into town. My mom and I went wedding dress shopping! There are pictures of this, but as the fiancé occasionally makes a stop by the blog, I can’t post them! I didn’t buy one, but I found one that I like A LOT. But this was the first time I tried on dresses, so I want to check out a few other places. I have a feeling I’ll come back to this one though 🙂 Instead of a dress picture, how about this picture of me showing off my ring (like a cheese-ball)?

ring

After dress shopping was pasta for a pre-race dinner! I had shrimp and scallop linguini. It was fantastic. And I only had one sip of my mom’s margarita. Water only otherwise!

I attempted to go to bed at a reasonable hour Saturday night, so I could get up and, ya know, run a half marathon. But all-the-thoughts were running (get it?) through my brain. Laying in bed went something like this.

Go to sleep, self. You need to get up early!
Ugh, so early! It will be dark still!
I bet it will be cold in the dark.
I don’t want to run in the cold.
Why did I sign up for this race again?
Oooo that one dress was really pretty… except for that weird ass bow on it.
I’m cold now! It will be so much worse in the morning… outside.
Gloves! Don’t forget gloves! (I got up… and gave flat Kat gloves)
Do I want white or ivory?
Ivory… but a light ivory?
GARMIN! Don’t forget your Garmin! (I got up… gave flat Kat her Garmin and road ID)
Whew, fiancé would have been annoyed if he had to go home and get the Garmin (again… like last time)
Why can’t I SLEEP?
I reeeeeeally liked that one dress…
I want to tell fiancé about it.
CAN’T! Must. Keep. Secrets!

Clearly it was a long while before I managed to fall asleep.  But I did and morning came, way too early and way too cold.

I put on all my layers, ate my oatmeal, and climbed in the car.  I got dropped off at the race.  I found my running buddies, and before too long, we were off!  I’ll save all the details until later and an actual recap, but I ROCKED IT.   I had vague dreams of a 2:15 race, but I didn’t really put it out into the universe because I wasn’t sure it would happen and didn’t want to be disappointed.  Well IT DID happen… 2:11:36!

medal

I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday as well as Jessica Joy and Jill for the Fit Dish.  The Fit Dish topic for the week is wandering minds during work outs.  My mind was certainly wandering about running… it’s close!

Does your mind take over when you’re trying to sleep?  Mine was out of control!

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?

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. 😉

hawks
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.

miller

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!

millerpark
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!

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!

Zac1

Zac2

 

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!

 

Pinstripes

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

 

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 🙂

Flowers

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!

IMG_2905

 

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!

WholeFoods

 

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!

jewelery