Archives for September 2014

#55 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Today Kyle and I will {finally} arrive in Naples! We’re setting out from Atlanta early this morning for the second half of our road trip south. I’m more than ready to get out of the car (I’m so not a road trip kinda gal but the thought of putting Mitchell on a plane gave me nightmares so driving it was… The things we do for our furbabies!) and start to get settled in our new digs!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

Even though our Chicago apartment was empty this week, I was still able to treat myself this week. I just wore the same clothes over and over again ;) I’ll definitely share a full recap of everything we fit in during our last week in Chicago in a few days – Today is just the treatin’ highlights!

Food Collage

Foooddddd – OMG the food (and the drinks, hehe!)! If I never eat again, I will probably be fine. I’m certain I didn’t keep any pants with me during my last week in Chicago because I knew they wouldn’t fit by the time we left for Florida, haha! I had everything from pizza to Greek to Mexican to Italian to hugeeee cheeseburgers to ice cream to donuts to… blech, just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. All of it was amazing, but I must admit that I’m more than ready to get back to my own kitchen and get some healthy back into my life!

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Lots of gym time – I spent quite a few hours at my home away from home over the past week. BODYPUMP, yoga, spinning, barre, foam rolling like a crazy person, buying expensive smoothies… It was all amazing and I loved having the opportunity to take advantage of classes I wasn’t able to attend while working. Wahhhh, I already miss my gym… I know, I’m being a big baby. I need to just open an awesome gym in Naples and I could easily solve the problem of not having EBC in Florida ;)


Time with Kyle – Even though we came close to driving each other crazy with so much free time (LOL!), it was nice to be able to spend a ridiculous amount of time exploring the city (and the ‘burbs – above is at Arlington Park!) with my main squeeze.

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A hugeeeee Advo order that included a canister of vanilla Muscle Gain (protein powder). That smoothie I mentioned earlier in this post? Yeah, it’s $11 – ELEVEN DOLLARS. Even if we were staying in Chicago, there is no way that I would spend that much on a smoothie on a daily (or heck, even weekly) basis. I’m excited to make it at home with my new vanilla powder. If it turns out as tasty as EBC’s, I’ll make sure to post the recipe :)

EBC smoothie

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How did you treat yourself this week? What is your favorite smoothie recipe?

No more marathon updates

It seems quite fitting that I’m writing this post on a Friday night while sitting on the floor in my empty, dark apartment while downing a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Fudge Core ice cream. In case you were wondering, I’m on my third spoon in 5 minutes. Those darn plastic spoons don’t hold up when it comes to eating ice cream by the pint.

In case you were also wondering, my apartment is dark and empty and I’m eating from a plastic spoon because the movers took all of the furniture including the lamps we used to keep the place lit. The little things you often take for granted…

And for a third in case you were wondering, mini peanut butter cups > peanut butter side > fudgy core > chocolate side. You know, in case you get an intense ice cream craving after reading this post and are contemplating which side to eat first ;)

Anyways, where was I?

Oh yes, my current depressive state.

I’m sure many of you could have guessed this was coming by now by my lack of Insta running photos and very few (if any…) running updates on this here blog.

chicago marathon

Sadly, I am no longer going to run the Chicago Marathon.

And yes, in case you were wondering for the FOURTH time during this post, it is because of my knee.

I’ve been to a PT. I’ve been to a muscle healing clinic (or whatever you want to call it). I’ve been to a chiro. I’ve stretched and strengthened and iced and foam rolled to my little hearts content. And NOTHING has helped. I mean, it’ll feel better for a bit, but as soon as I try to run again… BAM. Knee pain.

Sometimes walking hurts. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I can run for a mile. Sometimes I can’t even make it that far without experiencing a weird, grinding, tightness in my left knee. But hey, I was able to complete my 5k on Saturday so there is hope for the future! I’m still certain it’s caused by a super tight IT Band and quad. I’m also certain that rest is pretty much the only thing that’s going to heal it.

So rest it is. And I’m not good at resting.

At first I was mad. Then I was sad. And now I’m just flippin’ annoyed. Then I sit back and try not think of my many weeks of training as a waste but more as a “pre-marathon, marathon prep” – I mean, I ran SIXTEEN freakin’ miles on a Saturday morning before 9am. 16! How many people can say they’ve run that far? Yeah, I’ll get to a marathon someday. Until then, my goal is to beat that 1-6.

Could I run the marathon? Probably. But it would be with a lot of pain and it would be mostly walking, not running. Do I want to risk serious injury? Hellz to the no. I would like to walk past the age of 30, thank you very much.

And heck, I’m moving to Florida. I hear they have some nice “winter” marathons in those parts. I could deal with that. Although, apparently it’s a thing for Kyle and I to move every single time I register for a marathon so maybe I’ll hold off for a bit… I’d like to not move across the country for at least 5 more years.

I’m not looking for sympathy or anything of the like with this post, I’ve received more than enough and I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. I just wanted to let y’all know what the heck was going on with my marathon status.

Finally, last but most definitely not least, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone that donated to my charity! The money is still going to PAWS Chicago, you just unfortunately won’t have the pleasure of seeing me struggle through 26.2 ;)

The Ditka Dash – Race Recap

I never thought these words would come out of my mouth during marathon training (more to come on my training tomorrow), but I am happy to report that I was able to run a 5k yesterday – whoop!

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Going into the race I was nervous. I hadn’t run over 1-2 miles in a few weeks and had no clue how my knee would react. Thankfully, I was able to finish… It wasn’t a great time but the fact that I didn’t have to stop due to a crazy amount of pain was a win in my book! I am also happy that the race was only a 5k – I don’t think my knee could have taken much more than that.

Anyways, enough talk about my old man knee – onto the The Ditka Dash 2014!

ditka corral

Kyle and I headed to Soldier Field on Friday afternoon to pick up our race packets. Shockingly enough, this packet pick-up was the most organized and quicket pick-up I’ve ever experienced. Way to go, Ditka volunteers! We each got 2 t-shirts, aviators and a mustache for the run :)

ditka pick-up

On Saturday, our race heat didn’t start until 10am (the organizers had 3 different heats because there were so many people running), so we met up with our friends pre-race and found our spot in the corral.

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To everyone’s delight, Ditka himself was at the start line… smoking a cigar, nonetheless ;)

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Since the race was a fun race, there was no official clock… Thank goodness for cell phone timers for those of us Type A runners who need to know how long we’ve run.

ditka mustache selfie

(I look like my father in this selfie – yikes! Yes, he has a mustache.)

I stuck with Kyle for the first “mile” (mile is in parenthesis because I do not think the mile markers were correct in the least, haha!) until he wanted to walk for a few seconds. I knew there was no way my knee would allow me to stop running and then start again so I told him I’d see him at the finish line and kept chugging along.

Thanks to Allison’s advice, I tried my best to keep my strides shorter than normal and I think it really helped keep the pain in my knee to a minimum. Thanks girly!

ditka time

I finished in under 30 minutes, wahoo! And although I know I’ve run faster than this in previous 5k’s, I’ve yet to record it. Sooooo, I’m calling this a PR and my next race I’m going to blow it out of the water ;)

Also, there’s no telling if the race was actually the correct distance, haha! I know the mile markers were off so who knows if it was exactly 3.1 miles or slightly longer.

ditka friends

Either way, it was a blast and great to do a fun run with some Chicago friends!

What was the last fun run you participated in? Did you run the Ditka Dash? If not, you should next year! It was a ton of fun AND on the lakefront!

Friday Favs

Fridayyyyyy! To be honest, I have no clue what day of the week it is at this point BUT I do know that this morning I’m kicking off Friday with a 6am spin class followed by 7am BODYPUMP. How’s that for a metabolism boost heading into the weekend? {insert bicep emoji}

I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare again today to share some of my favorites from the week. I hope y’all had a fabulous week and are looking forward to the weekend ahead :)

1. This poster. I need it. #truth

This retro print will resonate with anyone who has ever trained for a marathon or ironman triathlon. It makes a great gift for any runner, and

2. The Cubs winning on Wednesday evening! Whoop – Not only did they beat the Cards on their last home game of the season, I scored a free Dunkin’ iced tea out of the deal ;)

Cubs Dunkin Collage

3. This post. She’s one of my favs and always gets it spot on. Plus, I took the twerkin’ photo, so I’m taking 1% of the credit for this post ;) Hehe!

4. Sunrise yoga on the rooftop – My last day at EBC is on Sunday. I may cry. Actually, scratch that, I will most definitely cry. Note to self: Bring large sunglasses on Sunday…

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5. Finally, it’s almost time for Chelsea’s destination wedding in Punta Cana! My invite must have been lost in the mail (hehe!), but I will be doing a guest post for her in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s live – In the meantime, you should most definitely be following her wedding journey. She’s seriously the cutest and I cannot wait to see her wedding photos :)

What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Drop a Pumpkin!

As you all know, I love all things AdvoCare. The products are amazing, the organization is phenomenal, and the people I’ve met through my journey are incredible.

I wanted to pop in and do a quick post today to announce the October 24-Day Challenge that my group is hosting beginning October 6th. It’s all about fueling your body with clean, good-for-you foods and supplements and having a HUGE support system (we’re talking over 1,200 fellow challengers!) there to help you along the way… and finishing just in time to eat that Halloween candy. I kid, I kid… kinda ;)

Fall Challenge

You can read more about what AdvoCare has done for me here and if you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to email me:

If you’ve heard enough and are ready to jump in feet first, you can buy the full 24DC here.

#54 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Before I jump into Treat Yourself Tuesday, I need to have a little shout out for two of my favorite blends :) Carly’s birthday was yesterday and it was an important one – Happy birthday girly! And Katie’s is tomorrow – I wish I was in Napa celebrating with you! Make sure to jump on over to their blogs and wish them a happy birthday!

This is the last TYT I’ll host while living in Chicago. That’s crazy talk! By this time next week, we’ll be settling into (and by settling in, I mean digging our way through mountains of boxes…) our new apartment in Naples.

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

First treat of the week was our movers! Thank goodness for movers… They seriously did everything from the packing to the moving to the truck. And, since we still had a ton of stuff at Kyle’s dad’s house, they even drove out there and picked up our belongings. I tried to avoid the chaos but I did enter to bring everyone Jimmy Johns for lunch… The boxes were enough to drive anyone crazy so I quickly snapped a photo and left!

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I also treated myself to a new book this week – Divergent! After I saw Ashley post a photo on Instagram about the movie, I remembered that I have been wanting to read the book forever. I found a 10% coupon on Target’s Cartwheel app and took advantage of it :) I also saw this at Target but didn’t buy it – That’s self control if I’ve ever seen it!


Remember how I posted about SYS last week? Well, the eye cream JUST became available so you better believe I ordered some! Apparently Advo wasn’t 100% happy with the bottle dispensers so they sent me TWO for the price of one. Pretty sweet, right? I plan on doing a before/after comparison for y’all but my before photo is awfullllll so no judging when I post it in a month ;)

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While I’m on the topic of Advo, I also treated myself to a couple more Advo tanks! (The pink and the black… obviously!) I figure I’ll be wearing tank tops a lot more frequently in Florida. I had these shipped to our new address too – crazy!

Advocare burnout tank racerback

Finally, I treated myself to a visit to my favorite Whole Foods in the entire world :) The only thing I purchased was lunch at the salad bar… and it was so good!

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How did you treat yourself this week? What is the best book you’ve read recently? I’m looking for some ideas so I can hit up the library once we get to Naples!

Penultimate Chicago Weekend!

Penultimate… That’s a big word to kick off a Monday morning. It just sounded better than “second to last” ;)

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Ours was crazy busy per the usual and right now, I am hiding out in our apartment building’s business center while the movers do their thang!

Anyways, onto recapping the weekend.

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Friday kicked off with sunrise yoga and some amazing weather…

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… Followed by a late lunch with Mr. Kyle at Publican Quality Meats. The food was really good but I am certain my sandwich was dipped in butter before it was brought out to me, ha! Thankfully it wasn’t soggy – Soggy bread is one thing that I cannot stand!

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We spent Friday night out on the town and checked out a few new-to-us places in Chicago: Prosecco, The Boarding House and Vivo. The first two were good, Vivo not so much. But hey, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad and The Boarding House had super cool décor – Wine and champagne glasses covered their bar’s ceiling. I was obviously super impressed ;)

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I welcomed Saturday with a barre class (and my abs are still sore!) and then Kyle and I hit up Adler Planetarium to check off an item from our bucket list. The rest of Saturday was pretty lazy. Kyle went out with one of his Friday for dinner and to watch football (guy stuff!) and I practiced more of my BODYPUMP 90 release.

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We both woke up pretty hungry on Sunday morning and decided to visit a diner that we walk by all of the time – Palace Grill. The serving sizes were humongous and I managed to eat my eggs and a few bites of the hashbrowns before I called it quits, haha! It was definitely delicious diner food :)

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The rest of the day was spent fitting in a workout and then packing up things that we don’t want the movers to take with them.

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In the afternoon we headed out to Kyle’s dad’s for dinner and time with the fam. We had Thai delivery for dinner (Kyle’s favorite) and then celebrated his brother’s birthday with some delicious Whole Foods’ cupcakes. I’m seriously never making cupcakes again, y’all – Whole Foods are the best!

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Speaking of sugar, I decided to treat the movers (and myself, haha!) to Glazed and Infused donuts this morning. I mean, how could I resist showing some sugary kindness to the men that will be in charge of our belongings for the next week?!

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After reading this post, it looks like Kyle and I ate our way through the weekend… And we did! Healthy detoxing is coming our way once we get to Florida ;)

Donuts or cupcakes? Thai or pizza for takeout?

Chicago Bucket List

Welp, the movers come tomorrow. That means for the next two weeks we will be living out of suitcases (and sleeping on an air mattress…) in our own apartment. This shall be fun.

I keep mentioning a bucket list of items that Kyle and I want to do before leaving the city of Chicago. Then I realized that we didn’t actually have a list. #fail

Thankfully, some of you had asked to see what was on our list… This forced me to finally draft one up, haha! Below is what we would like to do before we leave Chicago.

1. Spend every waking hour at East Bank Club. Okay, this isn’t really true, but I will be spending as much time there as possible over the next week! I mean, seriously – check out the views, you’d want to spend all day errrrday here too ;)

2. Adler Planetarium. (Check! Went there on Saturday – Yay!)


3. The Field Museum.

4. Eat deep dish pizza. (Kyle hasn’t done this in a restaurant since we’ve been here – WHATTT?!)

5. Chicago Architecture Foundation tours – As many as possible!

6. Bike along Lake Michigan.

7. Visiting Montrose Beach with Mitchell – I hope there are dog beaches in Florida!

8. Chicago Gourmet – Kyle purchased tickets to this event a few months ago and we knew we didn’t want to miss it, so if you need us this upcoming weekend, we’ll be in wine and foodie heaven :)

9. Spend time with friends and family that live in Chicago. I think most of our days are completely booked between now and when we leave so I’m sorry if we have to turn down any invites!

I’m sure I’m missing a few things on our list, so as they come to mind I’ll update this post.

We had a great weekend touring the city… and by touring I mean eating our way through town, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all tomorrow.

If you had to create a bucket list for your city, what would you include? Fellow Chicagoans, what am I missing on this list?

Friday Favs

TGIF!! Happy Friday y’all :)

This Friday Favs post is going to be short and sweet as I’m about to hit up sunrise yoga.

1. Speaking of yoga, SUNRISE YOGA! I’ve wanted to go to this class for  like forever but this pesky thing called work got in the way ;) Thankfully, I can get there this morning and I am excited for a little Friday AM zen… and no, Mitchell won’t be joining me this time.

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2. This cartoon. I swear this is the fear in Mitchell’s eyes every time I leave him, haha!

3. This recipe. Allison posted these on Insta last night and I begged her for the recipe. They look ridiculously easy and I’m so excited to make them! (Photo cred goes to the chef herself, Allison!)

sorry poor photo skills, I'll try to get a more photogenic picture up soon to replace this one!

4. Laura’s post on how to continue on the marathon training path even if you experience an IT Band injury. This girl knows her marathons and  I’m always so happy she’s willing to answer my questions :)

5. Last but definitely not least, Kyle’s last day of work in Chicago was yesterday! Woohoo!! No more long, dangerous, time-wasting 3-hour commutes for him :) We celebrated with some Wine That’s Fun vino last night and now it’s time to finish our Chicago bucket list and enjoy the city for a few more days.

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Linking up with both Katie and Clare today to celebrate the wonderful day of Friday!

What is one of your Friday favorites this week? Whatcha up to this weekend?

How to continue running with an IT Band issue

Earlier this week when I was complaining about my annoying IT Band issue, Laura reached out with some amazing tips! Since many of you were interested in her comments and recommendations, she wrote up a blog post today that I want to share with y’all.

How to Continue Marathon Training Despite IT Band Issues

If you’re a runner or have ever had knee pain associated with an IT Band injury, I highly recommend this post!

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