Monday Favorites

I tend to post my favorites of the week on Friday’s, but why not on a Monday?

Okay, you got me… I didn’t have a chance to post this past Friday so I’m posting a few days late ;) BUT, favorites are favorites so let’s kick off MonYAY on a happy note!

1. Date night on Saturday night! Kyle and I grabbed drinks at M Waterfront, dinner at Yabba Grill, and then dessert (AKA lotsa ice cream!) at Kilwin’s. It was a great way to spend date night!


Saturday morning was fun too with a rainy trip to the farmer’s market :)


2. The Olympics – While I’m not glued to the TV, it’s fun to watch updates and catch the competitions when I can.

3. Blue Raspberry Spark!!!!! (!!!!!!!!!! <– Because I didn’t have enough explanation points to begin with, LOL.) This is another limited time flavor and I’m super pumped for it! TBD on when it will be available for purchase – sometime this week – but if you want it, you gotta get it STAT. It’ll sell out quickly just like the other limited flavor – Pineapple Coconut – did earlier this summer.


4. The Fit Squad Virtual 5k – My fitness group came together on Saturday to run a 5k together! I was bummed I had to run mine inside on a DREADmill (boo to storms in Naples), but I loved seeing everyone’s photos and excitement for doing something fun and healthy together.


5. Burn Bootcamp! I plan on doing a full review once I’ve completed my first month, but so far so good. As in it hurts so good, LOL. The workouts are INTENSE and I’m actually somewhat concerned for the new-to-fitness women trying out Burn, but that story is for another day. I’m thankful that I have fitness knowledge and know when I should/shouldn’t do something to avoid injury… But for now, I’m loving it! If you have one in your area (and are currently in decent fitness shape), I recommend trying out their Groupon. $35 for a month which is much better than their normal $150/month!

6. Spark Variety Packs! I only have TWO left so let me know if you would like to claim one of ’em for yourself.


7. The new Snapchat-ish style of Instagram – At first I hated it (I’m not super into Snapchat…) but now I like it. I probably won’t use it a ton but it’s nice to share little blips into my days without creating a full post. I do wish they had cool Snapchat filters though ;)


How was your weekend? Share a MonYAY favorite to kick off your week!

Friday Favs

Happy Friday, party people!! Can you tell party people is my new greeting thang? It’s Friday, we can be party animals today ;)


Last night was actually my FriYAY since I took today off of work to celebrate my girlfriend, Tarin! It’s her bridal shower and bachelorette party weekend – woohooo!! I’ll be heading to The Keys later today for the evening and then coming back to Naples tomorrow afternoon to celebrate our 6th (!!!) wedding anniversary with Kyle on Saturday night. It’s bound to be a fun (and exhausting, LOL) weekend.

Thankfully my Spark order arrived yesterday so I have enough energy to push my 31-year-old body through the next 48 hours. I’m also thankful that I am used to no sleep (although Dean gave me a SEVEN hour stretch last night!) so I should be able to keep up with the gals ;)

Anyways, let’s chat this week’s favorites!

1. I am FINALLY feeling better. About dang time! While I never want to take Augmentin again, the shiz works. Two long weeks of an upper respiratory infection is finally coming to an end. WOOHOO.

2. Good neighbors – We had a case of a missing Amazon package earlier this week. It was only Cheddar Bunnies for Dean’s party and a new blender bottle for me (#priorities #momlife LOL) BUT I hateeeee when packages go missing. Our USPS leaves a lot to be desired here in Naples so I was fairly certain they delivered the package to the wrong house… AGAIN. Last night a friend in my neighborhood (whose house isn’t even on the same street as ours…) texted me to let me know she accidentally opened our package. SERIOUSLY USPS. But yay for bunnies and a new Spark bottle this morning!

3. Chipotle. Need I say more? Love. Of. My. Life. Next to Kyle, of course! I ordered to eat my salad in the restaurant and LOL’d (literally, out loud) when the cashier handed me a to-go bag “just in case”… I wanted to tell him that you have no clue how much Chipotle I can put down! Hits the spot. Every time.

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4. My new, white manicure!! I was nervous after a few of your comments when I mentioned getting white nails but I really like it. I don’t think it’s a color I will frequently get but it’s fun and fresh every once in a while. Although it kind of reminds me of painting my nails with White-Out in 7th grade…



5. Dill pickle cashews. GENIUS. I’m totally making these from scratch for our next par-tay. Cashews + a little big of olive oil + dill + a little bit o’ pickle juice. Easy peasy and healthy and delicious!


And with that, I’m off!! Make sure y’all follow me on Instagram to stay current on my weekend shenanigans. Can’t wait!

Linking up with Katie and Heather for Friday Favorites.

Whatcha up to this weekend? Any favorites from the past week?


How was your weekend? It was another perfect weather weekend here in Naples so we took full advantage and were outside as much as possible.

My mom headed back home on Friday afternoon, but before she left for the airport, Dean and I enjoyed a delicious lunch outside with her.


Kyle and I relaxed on Friday night so we could be refreshed and ready to go on Saturday.

Date morning at the Y… BODYPUMP for the win!


Lunch outside with my favorite boys…



… followed by some outdoor shopping! Kyle and I hit up J. Crew and were both successful in finding new clothes. (Photo below of mine – New jean capris and a striped casual button up. I couldn’t say no!) After J. Crew we made a family trip to Target where we successfully bought ALL of the things. Anyone else?!



We relaxed again on Saturday night – crazy party animals right here, haha! Dean tried Cheerios for the first time which was the highlight of our evening ;)

We were up bright and early this morning so we decided to get a baby seat fitted to Kyle’s bike (we should have it back next week!) and then take a family walk on the beach. Dean’s carrier is obviously tasty.


Our afternoon was full of catching up around the house, another long walk outside, and letting Dean crawl around like a crazy animal.

Kyle’s mom is visiting beginning on Thursday so we are looking forward to next weekend… Obviously it is nice to have visitors and see family but we are also heading out on a date night which will be a lot of fun!

Oh! And one one more thing… Mitchy had surgery this past Tuesday. All is a-okay (it was for a little lump he had on his side – just a precautionary surgery since he tended to scratch at it.), he’s just going a little crazy since long walks are now allowed until his stitches are out. Poor dude! Also, Mitchell turns TEN in a few days. Craziness! He’s an old man ;)


Favorite section to shop at Target? What did you do this weekend?


How are y’all doing? I hope everyone in the line of the mega snowstorm is safe and warm and (hopefully) has a snow day from work tomorrow ;) #snowperks

It was a relaxing weekend here in Naples so I don’t have much to report and only a few photos to share. Dean and I are both so happy that Kyle is back home with us as of Saturday evening! He was in Germany since last weekend for work so I was doing the single mom thing and it was definitely not easy. All you single parents out there are incredible.

I do find it odd/interesting that Dean slept a lot better while Kyle was gone… It probably just coincided with a mental leap/growth spurt but he is not fighting his crib (knock on wood) and sleeping pretty consistently as of the last week. Fingers crossed it lasts!

Now, for the weekend!

I taught 3 Spin classes on Friday so I was D.E.A.D. on Friday evening. I did nothing and was happy LOL.


Dean and I hit up the gym early on Saturday for a HIIT class. Quick and fun! Later that afternoon we headed out to do some shopping. Lulu and a few other fun spots…


… I found a few cute items! When you live in workout gear, it’s okay to fill your closet with it ;)

Sleep dragon during naptime – I need to get a better photo of this outfit, it is adorable with the hood up!


Sunday BODYPUMP after a lazy morning of Trader Joe’s shopping and relaxing. (Kyle was up EARLY thanks to jet lag and that woke Dean up super early… so we had a long morning ;) )


Taco night and family walk to end the day – Perfection.


How was your weekend? Whatcha up to this week?

Thanksgiving Weekend

Who else was lovin’ the 4-day weekend over Thanksgiving?

We had an awesome time filled with some of my favorite “f” words… food, fitness, friends, fun, fresh air, fermented grapes, and family!

I kicked Thanksgiving morning off with an {almost} 5-mile run. It was breezy and warm but I like to get outside on holidays for some activity, especially now that I can take advantage of running without a stroller since Kyle is home to watch Dean.


Next up, mimosas! Was that even a question?! ;)


I prepped some tasty Coconut Nutella Brownies for our holiday dessert and they were AMAZING. I made my own whipped cream for the frosting rather than the recipe in the link and it worked out well! Don’t make these if you don’t want to eat the entire pan in a few days time <– soooooo good!


Obligatory Thanksgiving dinner photo…


Is anyone else obsessed with these?! French’s onions, marshmallows, and Cool Whip are my favorite holiday ingredients to snack on – Yeah, I know they’re crap for ya but I only have them a few times per year ;)


I failed in finding Dean a Thanksgiving outfit so I dressed him in a super cute Christmas onesie + pants on Thursday. A-dor-able! Is the red too girly? I thought it was Christmas-y but on second thought, it might be a girl outfit? Good thing he won’t remember, haha!


I’m not a supporter of Thursday night store openings and have totally lost interest in Black Friday ever since stores started opening on the holiday… I did head to Target at 7am though to pick up a few items (and I wanted the 20% coupon!). Of course most of my cart was for The Deanster. We headed to a larger mall in the afternoon (it was crazy!) and yet again, all I purchased were items from Gymboree for Dean. The line at Bath & Body Works was INSANE and J Crew’s sale wasn’t that great in my opinion… or I would have found a few things for myself as well ;)


After our mall fun, Dean visited Santa for the first time! He didn’t cry but he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the experience ;)

We worked on his push-ups and planks later on that evening. Hehe!


I kicked off Saturday by subbing a BODYPUMP class – I also taught spinning on Friday – Love that the room already has Christmas lights up!


Kyle declared that he could not possibly eat another bite of Turkey on Saturday so we headed to Naples Flatbread for a little pizza (and beer) action. I entertained Dean with my phone – The kid loves selfies!


I can’t remember what else Saturday entailed… It obviously wasn’t too exciting ;) I did put our chalkboard “nook” to use and decorated it for Christmas – Countdown begins on the 1st!! How is tomorrow December?!?


We hit up our favorite beach on Sunday morning for a family walk – I left my phone in the car so no photos but it was gorgeous as always. Naples has the best beaches!

I taught BODYPUMP on Sunday afternoon and followed it up with a SOLO grocery trip. It felt like a Christmas miracle, LOL. I am so happy Dean is taking a bottle again (he likes the Tommee Tippee brand <– Thank you to the mama’s who recommended that one to me!) as it allows me a bit more free time.


We finished out Sunday with tacos (peas for Dean) and then relaxed while watching football until calling it a night. Okay, I’ll be honest… Kyle watched football, I blogged ;)

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you get any good Black Friday deals? What was the best food item at your dinner?

Nachos, fondue, body pump and other weekend fun!

Happy Sunday!

How’s your weekend been so far?

My Friday night started out with the Blackhawks and nachos at a local dive bar. Nachos for me. Blackhawks for the boys ;)

Blackhawks Collage

Saturday morning called for a long walk. Mitchell and I had to wait while Kyle grabbed a bagel for breakfast.

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I had plans for brunch with a friend, but the walk took it out of me and I couldn’t stop coughing so plans had to change :/

After running a few errands, Kyle and I grabbed lunch at Duran – a local, European sandwich cafe. Each was delicious!


The rest of the day involved a 3-hour nap (it was amazing!) and then getting ready for date night.

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We received a Groupon gift for Christmas to Geja’s Cafe, a romantic fondue restaurant in Chicago, and decided it was time to use it.


Overall, everything was delicious. We started with salads and a cheese fondue with bread for dipping, following by a meat and seafood tray with 8 dipping sauces, and then finished with a chocolate fondue complete with marshmallows, rice krispie treats and fruit for dipping! The only part we didn’t enjoy was that we had to “cook” our meat in oil at the table, so basically our steak, chicken, lobster and scallops were all deep fat fried. Blech. If we go back, we decided we’d definitely just go for the cheese and chocolate and skip the main course ;)

After a week of rest, I finally hit up the gym again for some body pump! It felt great to get back.

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I got all geared up, thanks to Kyle, for the Blackhawks game.

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Once the game started, however, Mitchell and I decided we would rather take a walk to the dog park than watch hockey.

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The rest of the afternoon and evening are going to be spent packing and getting ready for my 5am flight (not looking forward to the 2:30am wake-up call!) to Florida tomorrow. I’m heading south for a work trip so if I’m more absent than normal, you know where I am :)

What was the most exciting thing you did this weekend?

Live music, 22k steps, Patio season & Other weekend fun!

Happy Sunday!

How has your weekend been so far? It has been a great – dare I say, summery weekend here in Chicago!

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On Friday, I enjoyed lunch in Millenium Park and these little guys thought they wanted some of my Chipotle ;)

Music Collage

Kyle and I enjoyed dinner and live music with his parents on Friday night.

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The obligatory Friday night bathroom selfie ;)

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I somehow navigated an Italian restaurant during my challenge – Broiled lemon salmon and clams atop sauteed spinach for the delicious win!

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Saturday called for an early morning family walk…

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… followed by body pump in my new Team Paws tank! Next up was brunch because girlfrand was starvingggggg! Kyle and I set out without a location in mind and walked and walked and walked some more (22k steps to be exact!) until we came upon Beatrix. It most definitely exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it if you happen to be in Chicago!

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Green power juice for her and a chocolate chai latte for him :)

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Brunch was Mexican-themed – Shredded chicken, salsa, sunny eggs, and avocado. Yum times a million and two!

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Naptime (needed after walking and brunch!) was followed by rooftop deck time in summer apparel – finally.

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Little Goat has a rooftop bar that opened this weekend. It has a great view of the city and it felt so good to soak up the sun! We stopped by a new-to-us wine shop, Perman Wine Selections, on our way home. The owner is young and has an incredible amount of wine knowledge – I can’t wait to stop back in for their wine tasting events and to stock up on wine, obviously ;)

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After a fun-filled day, Kyle left for the airport – he’s traveling to Brazil for work this week – and I hit up the nail salon and the grocery store for a super fun Saturday night, hehe…

Sunday morning came bright and early – it’s what happens when you let your dog sleep in your room with you!

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I fit in a walk and a 4-miler followed by a HUGE unsweetened iced tea. #treatyoself

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Mitchell Cone Man needed a bath in a bad way and I’m confident I got just as soaked as he did during the process…

After a very relaxing facial this afternoon, I arrived home to realize that I had locked myself out. Super convenient, especially since Kyle’s gone! Thankfully, the maintenance man saved the day.

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In a few minutes, I’m heading to my inlaws for Passover. And yes, in case you were wondering, I will be having some matzo ball soup regardless of my 24DC ;)

Tell me what you did this weekend!

Have you ever locked yourself out of your apartment/house?

Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan – 4.12.14

Good evening!

I’m being super cool and catching up on errands and some things around the apartment tonight rather than heading out for a night on the town. The things you do on Saturday nights when you’re an adult ;)

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It’s been a fun weekend so far and I’ll catch y’all up tomorrow – tonight is for sharing my eats and moves and health goal for the week!

Weekly Goal:

Eat homemade food every. single. meal. I have been eating out way too frequently lately and not only is it not the healthiest, it isn’t the best for my check book. Kyle is currently on a plane to Brazil and I do not like eating by myself/cooking for one so I am food prepping tomorrow in order to be prepared for the week!

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Weekly Meal Plan:

  • Saturday: Sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and pine nuts topped with sunny eggs and hot sauce <– SO good!
  • Sunday: Passover Seder with Kyle’s family (we’re celebrating a little early so we can get everyone together on the weekend)
  • Monday: Crockpot Salsa Chicken
  • Tuesday: Quinoa topped with shrimp + sunny egg (and let’s be honest, hot sauce!)
  • Wednesday: Crockpot Salsa Chicken
  • Thursday: Spinach-Garlic Burger
  • Friday: Leftovers

Weekly Fitness Plan:

  • Saturday: Body Pump + 22,000 steps of walking (holy moly!)
  • Sunday: Run – hopefully outside if it isn’t storming
  • Monday: Body Pump
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Play Tough Class (basically, boot camp)
  • Thursday: Spinning
  • Friday: Run

What are you cooking this week? How often do you stay home on weekend nights to be productive?

Girl and the Goat, Froyo, and Sushi – A weekend of eats!

Hi there :) How was your weekend?

It was a great one for us here in Chicago.

Friday night (I am using the term “night” loosely here as our reservations were at 4:45pm!), Kyle and I finally visited Girl and the Goat! We also apparently walked right by Stephanie Izard but since I am so far removed (I have never really talked about it here but I have zero interest in any type of celebrity or their gossip…) from pop culture, Kyle had to point it out after the fact, haha!

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We tried 5 different courses including: broccoli-cheese bread (this will be recreated ASAP!), beet salad, trout tartare, goat empanadas and pig face (yep, that’s the egg one!). Everything was very good but our verdict?

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… Not worth the hype. (Let the hate comments begin… ;) ) Yes, the food was good. Yes, the food was innovative and creative. However, it wasn’t any better than any of the other restaurants here in Chicago and definitely not worth the 3-month wait to get in. With that being said, I still think it’s worth checking out if you’re visiting Chicago and can get on the reservation list!

Instead of getting dessert at GATG, we decided froyo was a must. I hadn’t had froyo since last year – like November-ish, and it was just as delicious as I remember ;)

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Since we ate ridiculously early, I was ready for bed by 7:30pm. #truestory So Kyle and Mitchell stayed up to watch the Cyclones win while I went to bed at the late hour of 8pm…

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Because of that early bedtime, I was up and ready to go early Saturday morning.

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Before 10am, Kyle and I had the entire apartment cleaned, laundry done, quiche in the oven and made our weekly run to Target. Wowzers! Being productive felt amazing so we decided to cheers over mimosas while the quiche was cooking ;)

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The rest of the day included a trip to the vet for some booster shots for Mitchell, a nap and a new kettle bell workout at my gym.

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Then came sushi night with friends. I wore stripes because it is basically my signature pattern at this point ;)

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Sushi Para 2 has all-you-can-eat sushi for about $20/person and we always leave regretting the amount of sushi we ordered. There were 5 of us and we ordered this…

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And this.

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Yikes. Needless to say, I am STILL full, my fingers are still puffy from the salt, and my sushi craving has been quenched for at least a little while ;)

This morning, I slept in until the late hour of 8am, cleaned up the wine glasses from our pre-sushi festivities the night before, did a little blogging (I have a delicious recipe comin’ at ya tomorrow!) and then hit up the gym for some cardio kickboxing. The class was FULL and it got super steamy, super quick but thankfully, I sweated out alllll of the soy sauce from the night before!


I refueled with a tasty, gluten-free snack and an iced soy latte post-class. The Gluten Free Bar in chocolate peanut butter (don’t tell me you’re surprised…) was SO good and I will definitely be stocking up on more.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at lunch with family followed by a 2-hour nap. It was amazing even though I probably won’t sleep at all tonight.

I hope y’all had fabulous weekends – I can’t wait to hear about them in the comments!

Tell me one thing you did this weekend. Have you ever visited a popular restaurant only to not be overly impressed? 

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.

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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?

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