Our week in Chicago

Okay, it was technically 10 days but “week” sounded much better in the title of this post ;)

Kyle, Dean and I recently arrived back home from a wonderful time in Chicago. It was a fun and busy trip. I wore makeup more often than not (shocking!), fit in a ton of running (yay!), saw a bunch of friends, and enjoyed two nights downtown. Because it was 10 full days, I’m not going to recap it day-by-day but instead share bits and pieces of the entire trip.

My little plane lover – Getting ready for a flight to Chicago!




Lotsa running and new-to-me fitness classes – It was fun to try new things and get outside on a few cool(ish) runs. I also exceeded my goal of running 20 miles in the month of July! YEAHH!!! Currently up to 23 miles for the month :)

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(Running on the lakefront will always be my favorite!)

Date nights and fun outings with Chicago friends :)





We visited some friends who are movie directors (I know, so cool, right?!) and Dean had to wear the director’s megaphone on his head, LOL.


Wine, obviously…


And so much delicious food!!! My pants were a bit snug at the end of this trip, LOL.



Naptime snuggles and park time and a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo with my munchkin <3





First time visiting Lincoln Park Zoo to this last week (gahhh!!)


Mani-pedi times 2… #spoiled



Last but definitely not least, wedding fun!



Back home… #gorgeous


Have you taken any fun trips this summer? When was the last time you were in Chicago?


Whew – The last 2 days flew by!

A quick review of my weekend would be…

Spinning –> Drive to Orlando –> Workout/AdvoNation/Visit cousin –> Drive home from Orlando –> Sleep (kinda) –> BODYPUMP

But, we all know photos make a weekend recap 1,000x more interesting so let me share some fun shots from the weekend!

Packing for Orlando… I hate packing last minute! I forgot makeup remover and normal (non workout/non heeled) shoes. UGH. Thankfully, I survived ;)


Dean and Mitchell playing on either side of the door… One wants in, one wants out. Anddddd my glass will never be clean again.


Hanging out in Orlando Friday night.


Saturday morning workout with Michelle! I tried to create a difficult workout sans gym… I think I was successful ;)


Pre-AdvoNation photo.


Dean mimicking the Disney character’s facial expressions, LOL.


Sunday afternoon brightly colored BODYPUMP.


Chicken chop salad for dinner.


Dean lovedddd this baby food. I will be heading to Target tomorrow to pick up more :)


How was your weekend?

Dean does Chicago, Part 3 – Lincoln Park Zoo

On Wednesday of last week, we made a family trip to the zoo!


The Lincoln Park Zoo is an urban zoo in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is free to the public (awesome, right?!) and the perfect size to spend a couple of hours strolling around the park. They have a variety of animals that all appear to be well taken care of and have large, clean spaces to live, grow, and entertain us humans looking in on them from the outside ;)

Since Dean loved the Shedd Aquarium on Tuesday morning, we thought he’d like to look at the animals in the zoo. If anything, the day was GORGEOUS (albeit slightly chilly to us Floridians…) and it was nice to enjoy the sunny, fall weather in the city.


Not impressed with Mr. Gorilla ;)

Long story short, Dean didn’t like the zoo animals as much as he enjoyed the brightly colored fish. Most of the zoo animals were “natural” colors (black, brown, tan, etc.) and really blended into their environments (as they should), so I believe it made it slightly more difficult for Dean to get a good focus on the critters. Regardless, he enjoyed the fresh air from his stroller (and our arms), and we got to pretend to teach him allll about monkey and gorillas and bears and tigers.


After a few hours at the zoo, we headed to the West Loop for a late lunch. We attempted to try Parlor Pizza for lunch but apparently they don’t allow strollers on the dining floor – I would totally understand this if we went in the evening or during a busy time but it was 2pm and NOT busy in the least, so we had to head elsewhere. (As a side note, this statement is on their website… “Parlor Pizza Bar offers a comfortable, affordable & approachable dining destination to the West Loop neighborhood!” <– Apparently it is approachable for everyone BUT parents, LOL.) Oh well!


We ended up at Bar Siena a few blocks away and had an awesome dining experience. The restaurant has been open for almost 2 months and their food was delicious, plus their atmosphere had a cool, urban warehouse vibe.


Lincoln Park Zoo + A fun, late lunch made for a fun Wednesday!

Daily Ramble #16

We made it!

We survived our first flight with a baby. Well, actually our first TWO flights as we had to make an unexpected pit stop in Indianapolis to refuel. 

Yeah. Big error on United’s part there.

Dean only fussed once and stopped after a few seconds so I don’t think we were “those” parents on the plane. At least I hope not.

While it wasn’t as traumatizing as I had expected, my days of having forced me time at 30,000 feet are now long gone. Between feeding and playing and holding and all that stuff you gotta do with a baby, my 2.5 hours (I guess 5 if you count our stop…) in the air were not filled with blogging and a glass of wine.


Ah well, I think Dean’s worth it ;)  

Friday Favs

Fridayyyy! Are the weeks flying by or is it just me? I have to go in for blood work this afternoon (booooo…) – It’s just a normal pregnancy screening for spina bifida but I hateeeee hate hate needles so I’ll be treating myself to Chipotle post-needle stab ;) Seriously though, if they told middle and high school girls how many times you have to get poked and prodded during pregnancy, I think teen pregnancies would drop by 99%!

Anyways, I have lots of favorites this week so let’s jump on in!

1. Being done with Christmas and Hanukkah shopping! Well, let me clarify… I thought I was done with shopping on Wednesday but Kyle informed me we still need something for his dad. The plan is to find something this weekend, drop everything in the mail and be done! Man that feels good.

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2. Booking flights back home to Iowa. I never thought I’d be excited to travel to Iowa but alas, I am. Kyle and I are headed back at the end of February to visit my fam and have a baby shower for the little dude. Since we have family and friends in Chicago, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska (and my sister/bro-in-law live in Colorado), we figured Iowa would be a good central location. Now, I just have to get through my flights without copious amounts of wine to drown my fear… Dang kid is already cramping my style.

3. Seeing snowbirds reunite. Do you remember how awesome it was to see all of your friends again post-summer break back in college? That is what it is like for retirees here in Naples and I LOVE IT. It’s adorable. Yesterday at the gym I saw two men in their late 60’s embrace and laugh and catch up since they hadn’t seen each other since April. It made me happy for humanity and miss college at the same time. I think having a winter home is somewhat like college minus the exams… lots of free time, lots of new friends, lots of going out and having fun. And, if Kyle and I decide to stay in Florida long-term, we’ve decided to make Chicago our summer home. A condo on the lake? Yes, please!

4. Speaking of Naples, I think I’m finally adjusting to the weather. I’m not sure that’s a favorite, especially since I think 55 degrees is freakin’ freezing, but I no longer feel like I’m dying of heat when it’s 85 ;) Also, elderly men are very concerned about my well-being when I wear shorts and flip flops in 50 degree weather. I wore the following into the USPS earlier this week and I had a man ask me if I was absolutely freezing (umm… let’s chat when it’s -20, mmmkay?). If they knew I was pregnant, they’d probably try to wrap me in wool blankets ;)

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5. Christmas cookies!! I’m bound and determined to do some Christmas baking this weekend. I’m off to the grocery store this morning to pick up necessities… All I have planned so far are sugar cookies and peanut butter balls, what else should I make?!

6. Seeing our little guy on Tuesday afternoon. That always makes for a great day!

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It was a good week, I had more than 5 favorites ;)

I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare again today to share some of my favorites from the week.

What do you have planned this weekend? Do you have any favorite Christmas cookie recipes that I should make?

A weekend in Omaha

What a weekend – family, food and a whole lotta fun.

Since I’m currently at the Omaha airport (smallest airport EVER) and like to make the most of my time, I thought I’d share my weekend in Nebraska with y’all.

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The weekend kicked off on Thursday night with pedicures with my MIL. I ended up with the coral color – lime green on the toes is just not attractive ;)

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Mitchell was PUMPED to be spending the weekend with his grandparents – tennis balls + people food… dog heaven.

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Kyle and I had a super early Friday morning wake-up call for our 6:45am flight.

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After we landed in Omaha, we needed breakfast stat – Greek chicken crepes and the fanciest mimosa ever (hehe…) were calling my name!

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Next up was some shopping – believe it or not, I spent less than $100! I’ll share everything with you for this week’s Treat Yourself Tuesday :)

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We came across across a wine boutique in downtown Omaha, Vine + Branch, and we knew we had to make a stop. They offer wine flights and have a huge array of balsamic vinegar, pasta and olive oil. I definitely recommend stopping by if you ever find yourself in the Old Market District.

Kyle suggested we find a spa for massages on Friday afternoon and I most definitely didn’t oppose his idea. He treated us to massages and they were much appreciated!

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We my my cousin and her husband for happy hour after our massages at Blue Sushi – Mimosas + Shopping + Massages + Happy Hour = Best day ever! ;)

That evening we all drove to my aunt’s house for the first part of our family reunion. I put my phone away for the evening so I don’t have any photos, but I can promise you that there was great conversation, wine, delicious grilling and more wine.

Fitness Collage

I slept until 7:30 on Saturday morning (woohoo!) and then hit up Omaha for a hot and steamy run. After my 4-miler, my cousin and I made it to a power yoga class at Lotus House of Yoga. The class was killer and I woke up SUPER sore this morning – my back, my shoulders, my obliques, my quads… everything hurts!

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Spark was MUCH needed after all of that sweating and fitness action.

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We showered up and made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s for some necessities before heading back to the reunion, part II ;)

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Stripe-lovin’ obviously runs in the family – my sister and I both wore stripes (without planning!) on Saturday.

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Lawn games + baseball + #wineclub + snacking + World Cup watching made the afternoon fly by.

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My aunts made a ridiculously amazing boil for the group for dinner. Sweet corn, sausages, shrimp, potatoes, carrots and onions mixed with seasoning was the perfect recipe for a large group.

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My aunt and uncle recently adopted a new French Bulldog puppy. Everyone loved Layla and now Kyle is set on this breed for our next pup!

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We all slept in on Sunday morning and then decided to go to Farmhouse Cafe for brunch. Holy moly, their cinnamon rolls are the size of my head and are oh so good! The sugar made me feel ill but it was so worth it, haha!

After brunch, we still had some time before we needed to head to the airport so Kyle and I toured around Omaha.

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He requested an ice cream stop at Ted & Wally’s – The chocolate chip cake mix is delicious in case you were wondering ;)

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We made a quick stop at JD Tucker’s Sports Bar to watch the first half of the World Cup finale.

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Most of the second half was watched at Jackson Street Tavern. That called for a Sunday afternoon mimosa!

The weekend was SO much fun. It was great to see family members I haven’t seen since I was 5 and I can’t wait until everyone gets together again :)

What did you do this weekend? When was the last time you had a family reunion?

On our way to…

Good morning and happy Friday!

Kyle and I woke up bright and early this morning and are currently at O’Hare waiting on our flight to Nebraska for the weekend.

Yep, you read that right – Nebraska!

I don’t think most of you know this, but I grew up in central Iowa and both of my parents are from Nebraska. We have a family reunion for my mom’s side this weekend and I’m excited to reconnect with everyone over the next few days :)

Since our flight gets in super early this morning, Kyle and I will be touring around Omaha for the morning and then meeting my cousin (Hi Anne!) for happy hour once it’s an acceptable drinking hour, I’m thinking 10am ;)

For real though, Hannah has sent me some great restaurant recommendations for lunch, but if anyone else has ideas on what we should do to fill our day, I’m open to suggestions!

Whatcha up to this weekend?

#41 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Whew – This weekend was SO much fun and it went by way too quickly. Isn’t that the way it is with any vacation?

I can’t wait to share my long weekend in Colorado with y’all, but for Treat Yourself Tuesday today, I’m going to share a few highlights and then go into more detail later on this week. Mmmkay?

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 :)

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Stunning. Beautiful. Picturesque. Anyway you choose to describe it, Colorado is absolutely gorgeous and I was happy to treat myself to amazing views over the weekend.

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An unexpected treat was a lack of cell phone service. Unless we were in downtown Estes Park or I was connected to the wi-fi at the cabin, I had zero cell phone service. At first I freaked out and went through some serious withdrawal symptoms, but then I took advantage of it. No Insta. No texts. No Facebook or Twitter. No blogging. Nada. I was completely unplugged and had to commit myself to the sights and sounds of nature. Shockingly enough, it wasn’t half bad ;) I think I may have to unplug (100%!!) more often.

Another unexpected treat was a SUPER comfortable, memory foam, king-sized bed. O to the M to the G. I don’t think I have ever slept so well in my life. Kyle and I both agreed that we will be purchasing one of these when we move to a bigger place.

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There were lots of food treats this weekend (more details coming your way tomorrow!) including this delicious California burger and sweet potato fries from our Friday exploration in Denver.

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And Monster Mix. My dad showed up with a big ol’ tub of this goodness. I couldn’t have been happier.

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And beer. I mean, when in Rome Colorado ;)

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I have always wanted a fun planking photo, so when we stopped at a lookout along our RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park) drive, I knew I had to take advantage. Now I have a cool plank photo and am going to spam it alllllll over the internets, hehehehe! #treatyoself

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On Monday morning before our flight left for Chicago, Kyle and I went on a run (okay, I ran almost died, he walked…) and then took some time to explore the little mountain town of Estes Park. The Big Thompson River runs through the downtown area and between the sounds of the river and the views of the mountains, it’s one of my favorite places ever. Like ever ever.

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Between hiking, delicious eats, coffee, wine, spending time with family, sleeping, exercise, fresh mountain air and taking in the quietness of a mountain town, the entire weekend was one big treat. I’m so happy Kyle and I had the chance to get away and I cannot wait to share more of my trip with y’all!

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How did you treat yourself this week?

Saturday in the Mountains

Hello from Estes Park!

I don’t know about you, but I love photo recaps. A picture is worth 1,000 words, right? I plan on sharing a full recap {with words!} next week but for now, enjoya few of my photos of my Saturday hiking the Rocky Mountains.

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What were you up to yesterday? Waterfalls, hiking, elk viewing, dodging lightening storms, struggling to breathe at 12,000 feet and an ice cold IPA (or 3…) post-hike :)

Enroute to Denver!

*In case you missed it, make sure to check out my essential oils post from yesterday!*

Good {early} morning and happy Friday!

Kyle and I are heading to Denver bright and early this morning to spend a long weekend with my sister and dad. I’m pumped but am more than thankful for the new travel-sized green apple Spark this morning – 3:30am is an early wake up call!

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Kyle’s birthday is on Sunday, so we celebrated with his dad’s side of the family last night. The cupcakes from Whole Foods were delicious and Kyle got some pretty sweet gifts including a beach tent and some new bourbon glasses!

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Also, because I feel the need to discipline my child online, I just received a report from my MIL that the Mitchell Man has been barking since we left at 4am… Mitchell, you better behave for your grandparents this weekend! (<– stern mom voice ;) )

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I’ll be checking in with some gorgeous mountain photos for y’all over the weekend – I hope you have a fantastic Friday and a relaxing weekend ahead.

What are your plans for the weekend? Hiking, sleeping, breathing in fresh air and eating <– I’m easy to please :)

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