Thursday, January 31, 2013

Goodbye January Goodbye Fat!

Well hello *almost* February!!!
January has come and gone.
 And with the holidays has come a little extra plump *if you know what I mean* and now it's time for that to be GONE too!!!!

Of course I say this as I'm sitting here eating half a pint of mint chocolate cookie icecream, whoops! Okay, so I'm not quite at that stage where I'm ready to be good all the time.
Getting back into the routine of working out and refraining from unhealthy foods can take me a few weeks.  But it is true that the more frequent and more intense I work out, the less I cave for unhealthy foods.  I mean, why put all that work into going to the gym only to turn around and undo all that hard work?!?!?

Alycia from the Crowley Party put it perfectly yesterday when she posted the following:
{Saying "Oh, I've already ruined my good eating today.  I'll just eat crap"
 is like saying, "Oh, I dropped my phone on the floor.  I'll just smash it till it breaks".}

I don't know about you, but my freshman 15 didn't happen until after college.  Ummm how the heck did it work out this way!!??!!  I guess back in the college days I had to walk all the way to a cafeteria and you know, for the food that was served, it just wasn't worth it most days.  Back then I was also very careful about what snack food I had on-hand in my dorm room.  Now, the kitchen is my oyster and readily accessible curse!!!

Another major difference between back then and now is the vast difference between states.
Having gone to school in Florida, there was always ample opportunity for exercise in the great outdoors. Even ask this girl, she was/is also a runner and pretty hard core, too! Back then my days were filled with trips to the gym and long runs around the many "mini lakes" surrounding my college town.  It was always warm and sunny, full of that vitamin I've been missing alot of lately.  It was invigorating to sweat everything out before heading to class.  Many days, exercise was a total detox, a relaxer, a motivator, a pump it up activity, a survival mode!!!
And of course, many days were spent laying poolside with a good book in hand! =)
No hiding behind a baggy sweatshirt or long jeans then.

Here comes the huge sad *sigh* because let's just say, winter days in Chicago aren't always as motivating or cheery as they were in Florida.
Can you tell by the grey skies in the picture below????
Pretty grey, huh?!?
 I'm not going to let these grey days get the better of me!
These next three months are my commitment to kicking some you know what and making a difference.
Maybe this post will be a motivator for you, too.  Remember that you have time if you make time.  Make time to go to they gym.  Take some time out of your busy day for yourself.  I find that I'm able to give more and give better to those around me if I've taken time out of the day for myself.
I don't mean this in a selfish way, but in a balanced way.

 I also find that it's a great window of opportunity to read through blogs, respond to e-mails or simply pray!

Do you ever find that it's difficult to get into the groove of working out?
What strategies do you use to help get yourself over that hump helping you pass into that phase where it gets easier to stay committed?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A bad weather day gone good!!!

This past Sunday the alarm clock beeped away on deaf ears.
 I quickly rolling out of bed several minutes after Charles had already texted "I'm on my way!"  
Yikes!!!  Holy cow!!! that middle of the night (literally 2:30am) ER visit with my little sister for a broken bone left me a little groggy and out of touch with reality.

There I was in a panic trying to figure out what time it really was, how long I had over slept and how much time I realistically, or not so realistically, had to get ready for church and all before Charles arrived at my front door.
"Okay" I'm thinking,  I have it all figured out. Oh my goodness, seriously?!?!?! I only have 10 minutes to wash my face, brush my teeth, do my hair, find something to wear, grab my boots, phone, gym bag, coat, purse, tea, makeup and be downstairs ready to go!!!!
"Okay, I can do that! Maybe!?! Maybe not!" 
A few minutes later.....and pretty much none of the above done....
Me: "Honey, I'm soo sorry, would you mind waiting for me???"
Charles:  "Sure honey, no rush, take your time" he seriously is the best!!! 
We arrived at Church and my spirits were calmed.
It was a beautiful morning at Church.  We learned so much and were filled with God's grace and His Love. I'm so thankful for the many wonderful friends Charles and I are making together at our Church.

Thankfully, the morning proceeded to be more and more relaxing!
We stopped off at our favorite little place in town for some pastries and drinks.
 And then hit the gym and 330 calories and 1 hour later....I worked off maybe half the pastries!!!
It felt ridiculously wonderful to finally work up a sweat indoors as I watched the snow as it fell softly outside.  

We had made dinner reservations for the evening, but as the snow quickly turned into dangerous ice, we decided to call it a romantic dinner in!!! 
Our efforts cooking together made for an even better evening than we had originally planned.  

There is joy and beauty even in the unexpected events of daily life.  Some times more than others, it can be a bit of a challenge to "roll with it" when plans change.  When our minds and hearts are so set on doing one particular thing, it can be difficult or challenging to accept a changing of plans.
These are great opportunities to not only be flexible, but also positive about the situation.

Remember, don't be so set on something that you miss something even greater!!! =)

And in case your missed my very first Sunday Currently Post check it out here!

Monday, January 28, 2013


While I've done "Currently" posts in the past,
I love the style of this one that I found through the lovely miss Tina!
I know it's noooo longer Sunday, but I still want to share some recent happenings.  

 Reading  nothing currently. I know, how horrible right?!?! I guess that just means I'll have to pick up a copy of Les Miserables this week.  I mean, after seeing the movie three times, yes three! =)  it's probably time to actually read the book.

 Writing  letters to friends and getting all caught up on "thank-you" notes.  Just picked up another notebook for writing down important plans in life. 

 Listening  to Lady Antebellum's Christmas CD and the Les Miserables soundtrack.

  Thinking  how wonderful it feels to be back in the gym again!  I forgot how good it feels to sweat it out and run to some good tunes.  Even better when your boyfriend is putting you to shame by burning twice the calories running right beside you! =) Love you honey, you are great inspiration and motivation!!! It's already a great New Years decision (that we made together) to go to the gym for the next three months.

 Smelling   lavender oil on my hands. . . ahhh sooo relaxing.

  Wishing   the sun would continue to shine this week and keep the temperature from dropping yet again. :(

 Hoping   just hoping, that I'll have the chance to take a nap at some point this week.  Aren't naps just the best??? I miss the college years when I would take a nap every. single. day!!!

 Wearing  burnt red jeans paired with a comfy blue and cream striped sweatshirt.  Gotta love comfy outfits.  

 Loving   unexpected afternoon visits with Charlie's family.....sipping coffee, hearing about his relatives, sifting through photo albums and listening to more stories.

 Wanting  okay don't judge here..... uh huh, that's right, chocolate mousse cake!!!  If it wasn't sooo much work and I had a better excuse than just "I'm in the mood for a slice of chocolate creamy goodness"

Needing  I mean desperately needing new running songs.  Are you feeling generous?? Any you would care to recommend or share??  I'd be thrilled to find some new ones to take with to the gym!

 Feeling  very very blessed to have found some amazing friends through blogging!!!  Thank you for following along and sharing in the gift of friendship.  

 Clicking  on my new favorite app, "Over".  Check it out!  It offers a plethora of different texts that you can easily place on your pictures.  You can add these pictures right to Instagram from the app. 

Linking up to Lauren's Sunday Currently just a day late =)
From now on I promise to get-with-it and be on time!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

random facts, just because

1.  I love my coffee really hot and even better when it's in a huge mug!  Unless it's an iced coffee =)
2.  I really dislike folding laundry.
3.  I love love love organizing and cleaning, maybe just a little too much.
4.  I enjoy how I feel after I work out.
5.  I love gold colored sandals or orange flip flops.  Tory Burch has some seriously cute orange ones =)
6.  My favorite place to be is on the beach by the ocean. Sounds really good right now, doesn't it?!?!
7.  Doing dishes is not my favorite.  But I do love rubber gloves and a boyfriend who does dishes. ; )
8.  Going to bed by 9pm would never be a problem in my book.
9.  Taking trips into the city is probably on my "favorite things to-do" list right now.
10.  Sundays spent with my honey at Church is definitely one of my favorite times of the week.
11.  I cherish girly time with my mom, whether it's getting our nails done, shopping or visiting the pub.
12.  I'm not the biggest fan of walking outside in the dark.
13.  The most recent craving has been for mozzarella, basil and tomatoes covered in a balsamic glaze.
14.  Spending hours in a coffee house is the next best thing to being on the beach for hours.
15.  If a bunch of money were to land in my lap, I would go to Europe tomorrow!
16.  I'm addicted to having a fan on at night, whoops!
17.  Comfy pants are the 1st best thing past 7pm.
18.  I love being in the car and going for long car rides accompanied by music.
19.  Weekend getaways are so therapeutic.
20.  I've gone out to dinner with my mom in my pajamas and taken road trips in my slippers, it's okay to do these things, I think!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It feels good to be back!

 I'm glad I could take a little break from blogging to focus on the holidays and time spent with family and friends, but it's good to be back and blogging again!

In order to refrain from this post being overwhelming with everything that happened in the past 20 weeks 3 weeks,  I thought it would be fun to share just a few tidbits from the past several weeks.

The holidays were filled with visits from many dear friends, both near and far.  It was a great surprise to have this girl in town.  We were best of friends in college and still are and probably always will be!   
Charles and I went on a double date with his parents to see Martina McBride's Christmas concert.
It was an incredible night between the company and the concert. Holy cow that woman has a voice!
Twas the season to wear plaid and matching polish.
My siblings and Charlie's sister were invited to a movie night and sleepover at his place.  What a sweetheart to put up with all of us, he seriously went all out for the kids!!!  
The next morning he even took everyone out for a delicious Christmas Eve breakfast where the children feasted on pancakes and eggs!
New Years Eve was spent like this!  So much fun!!!
Happy New Year baby!
Matchy Matchy =)
Three Years in a row!!!
Cheers to friendship and sangria.
Charles took Rachel and I out for a ridiculously delicious breakfast New Years morning.
You would have thought we had enough food to feed an army!!  Nope, it was just the three of us =) The three of us the two of them did a pretty incredible job finishing most of it!!!
Sunday mornings spent here with the boyfriend have been a highlight.
And that's just the first half.  I'll share more adventures and tid-bits later!  Trying to get caught up can take a little while you know.  
I need some more coffee first, then I'll blog. 

have a fantastic day!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Relaxing and Special Weekend

Life is SO beautiful! 
 Sometimes I have to stop, step back and really make a conscious effort to be grateful for every small thing, every dear friend and the loved ones in my life. 
Speaking of loved ones... this past weekend I celebrated a special anniversary with a special someone, someone I'm truly, truly 
grateful for.

Here is a little re-cap of the weekend in pictures and words:

Friday morning.... Hair did and makeup done, I bundled up and went out to a local patisserie where time was well spent drinking coffee and catching up with an old friend.  
Fully caffeinated, the rest of the afternoon was spent grocery shopping and picking up fun surprises for my dear mother in celebration of her Birthday!
After spending three long hours searching for ridiculously hard to find special ingredients, I finally returned home to tackle a triple layer chocolate mousse cake!!! =)  I'm not going to lie, this cake seriously scared me at first, not only because the ingredients took hours to find, but because of all the tedious steps involved in making it, I guess for me that was all the more reason to make it.  
And yes....another three hours later and the cake was complete, complete with a few mishaps along the way, but nonetheless COMPLETE!!!! 
Ssshh don't tell her, it's still waiting in the freezer.  Best part about this cake is the fact that you can 
make it ahead of time and freeze it.  
My beautiful mother just got back in town from Florida (sooo jealous) and still doesn't know we are surprising her!
I love planning a birthday when the birthday girl is out of town.

Then came Saturday....
Three hours to kill in a Mall on a Saturday morning and this is what happened!!!
Guess this will be my ONE nice buy for a while.  =)
I've been looking for a little purse like this for a long time, so happy to finally have found it!
The best part of the weekend.....
Saturday evening I went on a hot date with this guy in celebration of our meeting each other one year ago!
The two of us went to see Les Miserable at the local iPic movie theater.
A few wonderful hours were spent talking together over drinks and food in the relaxing lounge area before our late night showing. 

The food was amazing!!!  
And our seats were even better!
I tried so hard to not fall asleep in these comfy recliners, total fail. =(
Time was spent Sunday afternoon listening to the Les Miserable soundtrack while laminating and filing away all the recipe cards collected over the years. 

Then a little coffee and blogging time and I'd say it was a wonderful weekend!!!
I'm so thankful for my mother and family, for my sweet boyfriend and dear dear friends.
What people in your life are you most thankful for?


Friday, January 18, 2013


Things I'm currently enjoying in life are:

1.  Slower paced trips to the grocery store.  I'm used to rushing and getting the job done, but sometimes it's nice to stop and pick up a cup of coffee to enjoy during the shopping trip, making it a more relaxing experience. Well, as much as grocery shopping can be relaxing that is.  I've also learned that I can't grocery shop and talk on the phone at the same time, can you?  

2.  My UGG slippers, they've been the best investment all winter because they keep my toes all warm and snuggly.  Yes, my boyfriend had to have a pair for Christmas and now he is hooked on them too =)

3.  A beautiful gold bottle of Gucci Guilty perfume.  This was a really sweet Christmas gift from Charles' parents and I'm in love with the scent!  I'm not a fan of owning more than one or two bottles of perfume because I like finishing beauty products before buying new ones and thankfully I save alot of money by not buying more than I can use, usually.  Bobbie Brown lip glosses on the other hand.... =)   

4.  Sanpellegrino Limonata has been the recent go to drink.  It's amazing!  It was an accidental find the other day and a wonderful accident it was.  Charles is a hero for showing up with 18 cans the other night!!!  I'm savoring every can. 

5.  If you haven't jumped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon yet, then you are missing out!!!  We just finished the Christmas special at the end of Season 3 last night and what an ending it was.  It rocks your world actually.  I am not going to give anything away, just watch it.  I still cannot believe how it ends, oh my goodness!!! I can't wait for Season 4 to come out next year. 

6.  Love my very first pair of colored jeans.  A few Saturdays ago a best friend and I bought matching pairs of gorgeous rust colored jeans from Anthropology!  Best way to describe them is soft like butter.  Can't wait to wear them into the summer with a cream top and gold sandals! There must be a thing going on with jeans right now because my beautiful cousin just mentioned her new pair. =)  Gotta love a new pair of jeans, cause it's a big deal!!! 

7.  Naps that last an hour long.  I wouldn't mind one every. single. day. but then again, I like being productive too, not that naps aren't also productive.  

8.  Having friends over for dinner followed by an old black and white movie.  A great way to spend an evening. 

9.  Overnight visits with friends traveling back to Colorado.  These kind of visits don't have to be very long to be memorable.  It's always a good thing to re-connect with dear friends.  

10.  Oh yeah and the scrumptious pastries above, another reason to be at the gym every Sunday!  What a coincidence, I'm off to Ambrosia in an hour to meet up with a girlfriend....hmmm what pastries this time??? =)
Have a sweet sweet Friday!

P.S. Two major recaps of life as of recent, coming soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Year Brings New Adventures!

I'm happy to say that the New Year started off with a bang!
Charles hosted a lovely New Years Eve party and had a nice size group of us over at his place for the evening.
The night was filled with good food, fun games and plenty of homemade sangria, courtesy of this pretty lady.
I love my J.Crew polka dot button up and purple sequins shirt that Charlie's parents gave me. 

With the New Year in full I mean partial swing, I thought it would be fun to share a few New Years resolutions decisions.  
A New Year should always come with new adventures and this year is already off to a great start!!!
Just to list a few....

1.  Take a trip back to the sledding hill from my childhood and bring family and friends along.

2.  Hit up the gym crazy bright and early every Sunday morning for an hour with my sweetheart.  This is our mutual decision for the next three months.  Sundays are the best together already, so why not make them even better?  

3.  Go skiing at Wilmot Mountain.  Wasted no time checking this one off. What an awesome and fun experience!  

4.  Even though life can be busy, take time to try new recipes!

5.  Take a mom and daughter trip into Chicago City for the day.  I'm definitely taking mom to the Bongo Room for breakfast and then to the Icon theater for a movie.  

6.  Find a cute 2013 calendar pronto!!!!

7.  Work on being prompt in checking things off my daily, weekly, monthly to-do list.  Okay, just working on being prompt in general will be a good thing this year.

8.  Take a long weekend trip with Charles down to Florida to visit the grandparents.

9.  Read new books.

10.  Eat healthier and be more conscious about what groceries I'm buying.  More fruits and vegetables and less junk/snack food.

11. Finally finish watching Lost.  Love this show!

12.  Eat at Girl and the Goat in the City.  It was amazing!  Been trying to go here since last year.

13.  Spend less, save more.

14.  Print pictures from Hawaii and put them in our scrap book.

15.  Take the time to go on walks at the local forest preserves.

16.  Check out at least 3 new places in my own downtown.

17.  Oh yeah and blog more! =)

This is the start of a great year, I just know it!!!
What are some of the adventures you would like to see yourself go on? 
What New Years decisions have you made for yourself?

Feel free to share!