Friday Favorites

Hey there – Happy FriYAY!

How was your St. Patrick’s Day? There was a lot of green here in Naples. It’s spring break so all of the kiddos in the school program as well as Deany’s daycare had a little parade through the gym. It was ADORABLE.

But, it is Friday, right? Let’s talk some favorites from the week!

Dean’s first “art” project. How cute is this?! I’m most definitely partial since he is my child but I love that they do these projects in daycare. I’m sure the babies hated doing footprints but the outcome is worth it, haha ;)

Since Dean is officially 10 months old, I’ve started his first birthday party planning! We have a theme and I’ve found invitations, decorations, a few outfits, and I plan on making his cake/cupcakes. I just need to work on the guest list and the menu! 


Cyclone basketball! Iowa State played in the tournament yesterday and while I can’t say I watched the game super closely, it was fun to cheer for my team.

New Spark! I ordered this flavor as soon as it was released on Wednesday and cannot wait to try it. I love all things lime so limeade better live up to my expectations, LOL. #nopressure 


I finally checked out the new grocery store in Naples, Lucky’s Market. It is a long drive from where we live and it is basically a mini Whole Foods. They have an awesome selection and prices are fairly reasonable. They also have $2 draft beer/$3 wine you can purchase and enjoy while shopping… Not that that sways my opinion of the store at all ;)

I picked up a new snack favorite for Dean there too… Cheddar Bunnies! He loves ‘em. 

I’m looking forward to another chill weekend in Naples. I’m getting my hair did this afternoon (it’s been FOREVER…) and I would love to fit in a run, a family bike ride, and some relaxing.

Whatcha up to this weekend?

Linking up with Katie and Heather this lovely Friday!

Healthy {Green} St. Patrick’s Day Smoothie

St. Patrick’s Day – I’m sure most of you celebrated over the weekend, yes?

All of that weekend celebrating calls for something healthy and GREEN. I mean, it IS St. Patrick’s Day (tomorrow) after all ;)

There are plenty of healthy green foods out there to indulge in this March holiday… green beans, asparagus, green apples, brussel sprouts, green grapes, and the list goes on. But it is St. Patrick’s Day and we need to DRINK something green. #amiright?!

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So, today I bring you something that you can whip up in your blender in a few seconds flat.

It might not be pretty but… It’s healthy. It’s slightly sweet. It’s perfect for a hurried weekday breakfast. And – most importantly, it’s green.

Green like a summer’s lawn. Green like the Chicago River. Green like your clothes better be tomorrow. And green like we’re pretending the smoothie in my photo below looks (because it is green in real life, haha!) ;)

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Healthy {Green} St. Patrick’s Day Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie


  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I like this one.)


Throw all ingredients into your favorite blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into a shamrock-covered glass and enjoy!

Yes, this post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almond Milk, but even if this weren’t sponsored, I would still use it in my morning smoothie! Full of calcium, unsweetened, great flavor, low in calories – It is the perfect addition to your morning smoothie or your cereal or however else you like to enjoy your almond milk.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almond Milk.

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

What a weekend!

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I have been looking forward to spending St. Patrick’s Day here in Chicago since around the time I met Kyle and found out he was from Chicago… so 7 years! Chicago knows how to do St. Patrick’s Day right and I was pumped to join in on the celebrations this year.

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My one and only goal this weekend was to see the Chicago River dyed green.

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I was successful ;)

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But the people – THE PEOPLE! There was such a crowd downtown that my phone stopped working which gave me yet another reason to hate Verizon… ;)

For the rest of my weekend…

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Friday started with a walk for Mr. Mitchell while it was still halfway warm outside.

st pats

Then a trip to Haymarket Brewery to watch the first Cyclone win of the weekend.

Saturday started with an early morning treadmill 5k…

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Pretzel necklace making by Kyle…

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And wearing my Iowish t-shirt ;)

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Then the green river!! {Who’s going to visit me for St. Pat’s next year?!}

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Instead of pushing our way into crowded bars full of intoxicated patrons (I sound so old typing that…), we visited a few friends’ houses for brunch, drinks mimosas and green beer, snacks (Kyle loved the bacon-wrapped wieners!), card games and fun. Thankfully, it was relatively nice on Saturday so walking outside didn’t freeze our toes.

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We came home around 6pm, made burgers and fries (so Irish…) and decided to watch the Iowa State game at home rather than making our way to the – likely crowded – Iowa State bar in Old Town.

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AND THE CYCLONES WON AGAIN!! Hello NCAA Tournament! Because of this win… I need this shirt… Just sayin’ ;)

ISU Coach

I fell asleep early (before the game was over…) so I woke up bright and early Sunday morning, just in time for Body Pump at my gym!

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The rest of today has been quite lazy, even Mitchell is soaking it up.

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I finally convinced myself to brave the post-holiday traffic to get my weekly Trader Joe’s haul. I don’t think anyone in the city of Chicago did anything besides day drink yesterday so everywhere was CRAZY.

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Thankfully, I made it out of Trader Joe’s unscathed and found a new-to-me treat for the traffic jammed-drive home. They’re definitely a winner.

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I anticipate more laziness tonight with bouts of reading and working thrown in. Oh and beginning to research charities for the Chicago Marathon (yikes!)… I am going to run for charity this fall so I need to start fundraising soon!

And that’s a wrap! Happy REAL St. Patrick’s Day {tomorrow}!!

What did you do this weekend? Does your city celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What is your most recent Trader Joe’s find?

Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan – 3.15.14

Happy {early} St. Patrick’s Day!

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Yep, I wore green lulu to the bar last night – The Iowa State game wasn’t playing on our network so we had to head out to watch the Cyclone victory!

Anyways, Kyle and I are getting ready to head out to see the Chicago River dyed green but I thought I’d quickly pop in and share my plan for eats and moves this week. I’ve also decided that I’m going to set a weekly goal or intention in each of these posts to help me focus on one specific thing each week. It is easy to get overwhelmed with everything we could be doing to stay healthy and active but by focusing on one thing each week, it helps to narrow our focus and be thankful for the small improvements and successes we see each day.

Weekly Intention: Focus on healthy and clean eating. I’ve indulged in a major way every single day since vacation and my body is craving healthier fuel. I can’t wait to share (and stick with!) my meal plan this week :)

Weekly Meal Plan:

Weekly Fitness Plan:

  • Saturday: Treadmill 5k + Walking around the city celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!
  • Sunday: Spinning or Body Pump + Yoga
  • Monday: 6am Boot Camp
  • Tuesday: Spinning
  • Wednesday: 6am Boot Camp
  • Thursday: Body Pump
  • Friday: Treadmill (or maybe outside?!) run

Are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today? If so, what are you up to?

What is your weekly health-focused intention or goal for the week?

Get Lucky 7K Race Recap

Yesterday, Kyle and I – along with 10,000 other runners – ran the Get Lucky 7K!

Before I get into a recap of the race, can we first discuss the packet pick-up? Trust me, you’re going to want to stick around for this.

Because I worked from home on Friday and the packet pick-up was right across the street from our condo, I picked up the packets and sweatshirts for both Kyle and I mid-afternoon. I walked into what I thought was the typical race packet pick-up – a station to get your badge, a chip checkpoint, a clothing size exchange area and a shop for extra, race-themed merchandise.

When I approached the end of the stations, this is what I saw.

Men 1

I can’t make this stuff up people! And, since I was alone, I had to partake in the festivities. Two muscular men who are willing to pose with me without their shirts on… Yes, please! I mean… never! I am a married woman!

Men 2

I quickly texted Kyle this photo to let him know what he was missing and to also inform him that I now had a signed calendar for our condo.

Men 3

For some reason, Kyle won’t let me hang it in our bedroom.

After all of that excitement on Friday afternoon, I was super pumped for the Get Lucky 7K the next morning! I even got my running shoes laced up with my Sweat Pink shoelaces.


Sadly, this is what we woke up to Saturday morning.


FREEEEZZZING cold temps and snow-packed/icy streets to run on. I was so excited. I don’t do well running in the cold so I got more and more nervous the closer it got to race time. Luckily, the race started right behind our condo, literally – it took us 10 steps to get there, so Kyle and I ran out to line up just before the start time!

Before heading out the door, I had to make sure I wore my lucky green shirt. It was a St. Patrick’s Day Race!

Iowaish Shirt

Yes, you’re reading that correctly – It says, “Kiss Me, I’m Iowish.” Haha! Also, please ignore my swollen eyes in all of my race photos. Yesterday morning was my second attempt at putting torture devices contacts onto to my eyeballs. Needless to say, it didn’t go well and I looked like I had just been punched in the face. HOT.

Sorry, I digress.

So back to the race, Kyle and I ran outside, lined up and were quickly moving toward the start line. I turned on my Get Lucky 7K Playlist, started my Garmin watch and I was off! I killed the first mile – my pace was 7:57 – which is unheard of for me!

Pre Race

Unfortunately, it all started going downhill after Mile 1. The streets were super icy. Like so icy, my feet could not get a grip and I was more sliding than running.

It was also freakin’ cold, like so cold tears were freezing to my face. My lungs do not like to participate when it is below freezing and I forgot to take my inhaler prior to the race. So, not only was I slipping along the route, I was also hacking and wheezing. Along with my swollen eyes, I was a hot mess!

The good news was that I could actually see for the first time in about forever while running. YAY!

Right around Mile 4 I got a serious side cramp – probably from the lack of oxygen I was inhaling – and had to walk for about 30 seconds. I have NEVER walked during a race before so I was super bummed and beating myself up. After my 30 second walking break, I took off, knowing I only had about 1/3 of a mile left and also knowing that I was probably going to miss my goal time which was 37 minutes.

Crossing the finish line was the best point of the race for me and I was so happy to be able to walk and catch my breath! I ended up completing the 7K in 37:49 – 49 seconds over my goal.

Although I came in over my goal, I was happy that I was able to participate in the race without training! Running a 7K after only getting in a handful of runs outside over the past 4 months is something I should be proud of :)

Here are my overall stats:

Race Stats

Kyle did SO well for his first race ever! He only trained on the treadmill for this race and he was able to complete it at an average pace of 9:57 per mile and didn’t walk once. I was/still am so proud!

After the race, we grabbed our snack bag – the mini Nut Rolls are always a highlight of the race for me – and quickly ran back inside our condo. The wind was picking up and it was freezing!

Check out all of the frost that accumulated on my headband while running!

Post Race

Overall, it wasn’t my best performance and I didn’t meet my goal but I did prove to myself that I can run in super low temps… if forced ;)

Did you run a St. Patrick’s Day race? How do you cope with disappointing race results?

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