balancing the weekend: jumping jacks and jello shots

I don’t even know where to begin describing the shenanigans that went down this weekend.

Friday night we celebrated my Dad’s birthday with our annual trip to a German restaurant. We eat German food once a year because it’s my Dad’s favorite — that shows how much we love him because I don’t think anyone in the world besides Germans love German food. I was lucky because my mom brought me a piece of his German chocolate cake that they had the night before — sensing a theme here?

1476089_1007196122640516_3360148816688752952_nWe went to Mirabell and it ended up being FANTASTIC. I never love German food but this was actually delicious! They took their time with the dishes but it was worth it — everything came out piping hot and flavorful.

unnamedI had salmon with garlic-cream sauce and fried potatoes with a salad to start. My brother got the famous Wiener Schnitzel and we all sampled some potato pancakes — everything was great. Plus I got to eat cake in bed later that night and I’m not sure what’s better than eating cake in bed…


Saturday was when most of the shenanigans ensued. It was Chicago’s annual “12 Bars of Christmas” Event, otherwise known as TBOX. We started the day at 7am with coffee/Bailey’s, mimosas, egg sandwiches and cinnamon rolls.

IMG_2043 IMG_2040 IMG_2046IMG_2049 IMG_2051Oh and did I mention the jello shot tower? Yeah, there was a jello shot tower.


Needless to say it was a fun morning.


Now, in the name of balance let’s talk weekly workouts.

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday: Sweat on State (400m warmup run + main workout shared below)
  • Thursday: Kick-ass spin class at Flywheel
  • Friday: 60 minute Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga
  • Saturday: Jello shots burn calories right?
  • Sunday: Rest

Even though I only worked out four days last week, I feel like I pushed myself 100% for those four workouts so I don’t feel like I skimped on the sweat at all. Plus I’m finally starting to notice a significant difference in my upper body strength which is so exciting! I love that I now measure my success on what I can accomplish with my body, not on how it looks or how “skinny” I can get.

A workout that centers on running - my kinda day!

A workout that centers on running – my kinda day!

The blue pants always make an appearance at sculpt

The blue pants always make an appearance at sculpt

unnamed (7)Moral of the story? With great food/drinks comes great responsibility…to sweat! And when you make working out as much fun as I do, it all balances out. The jumping jacks AND the jello shots 😀


  • Any fun holiday parties this past weekend?
  • Is there a type of food you aren’t fond of, like I am with German food?
  • How do you keep a balance between food/drinks and fitness?

trust the timing of your life

Yes I still exist!

….I’m just approximately 10x cooler now that I have my own apartment downtown.

Just kidding I’m approximately 10x poorer but it is so, so worth it.

The move went as smoothly as possible — minus the hiccup of forgetting all my electronics at home — I guess I was just so excited to make the move that I left my laptop, charger, iPod and phone charger on the kitchen table. Talk about scatterbrained.

But nevertheless I am officially a resident of Chicago. Living that 60657 life, yo.

IMG_1734This is the before pic of my new habitat. It has so much potential and I love it 🙂 I’ve already made it my own with race medals, travel posters. candles and a variety of French paraphernalia. The best part? The light. I know very few things in life but one thing I do know: I can’t live anywhere with limited natural light. I’m a “who needs curtains let’s let the sunshine in at 5am just because it’s magical” kinda gal and this place does just that. Have I mentioned how happy I am and how lucky I feel?

Even better than having a nice space to rest my head at night is that I’m living with two wonderful people. Megan, who you’ve seen around these parts a lot, is my best friend from high school. We’ve been friends since we were 14 and always said we’d live together — who knew it would actually happen. And Colleen – Megan’s friend from college – is a hoot and a half. The three of us have only lived together for 72 hours and we already had a night of ugly Christmas sweaters. champagne and decorating.

IMG_1751 IMG_1756 10678848_10204495100114711_9157530792364191192_n 10676264_10204495100314716_8220723310024865238_n 10448238_10204495099674700_5491585253758361372_n

I’m on cloud nine.

Trust the timing of your life

When I moved home six months ago, I couldn’t see past the pain. It was like a wall that I couldn’t get past – I just kept hitting it, clawing at it, trying to jump over it or run around it. But it’s once I finally sat down and rested against the wall for a little that it finally disappeared and I was able to see the light on the other side.

There is nothing worse than being in the midst of a storm and someone telling you “everything gets better with time.” It makes you uncontrollably, inexplicably angry. But it’s true. And unfortunately all you can do is weather the storm for as long as it takes.

Now that I’m on my own, all set up in my new place that I am paying for on my own, going to a job I love every single day, and thriving in a community of like-minded fitness junkies, I couldn’t be more full of joy.

Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to fit my high-maintenance grocery demands into my budget. Woof.

a weekend of firsts

First time trying squid ink pasta

Twas spicy. And different. Good in a unique way. Zman and I had date night at RPM Italian (owned by Giuliana and Bill Rancic) and after hearing rave reviews, I decided to try this squid ink pasta topped with crab which tasted great and made me feel fancy. I’ll definitely be back to try another dish because everything looked incredible, but I wasn’t blown away by the place – especially by the service. As a former server I know the little tricks of the trade when you’re trying to rush a table and our server was definitely rushing us. She brought out our appetizer WITH our entrees and asked if we’d like to see a dessert menu while we were still eating. Not impressed. But hey, now I can say I tried it!


First time making French Toast

It took an hour, way too much butter, and I wanted to go back to bed afterwards. The effort was worth it though, especially for leftovers, because this was killer. So delicious (and this is coming from a girl who’s never loved french toast in the past).


First time doing a squat-a-thon

Because it’s T-minus 2 weeks until I need to squeeze myself into a bikini and I’d rather squat til I drop than do something crazy like give up pizza.


First lazy “summer” weekend in Chicago

A beautiful run, a two hour adventure walk and $5 worth of frozen yogurt.




And last but certainly not least, first time signing a lease! (No, college doesn’t count)

Zman and I are officially moving in together in Lincoln Park! We came, we saw, we conquered. In other words, we toured an apartment, fell in love, and signed all within six hours. We didn’t ask nearly enough questions but it’s next door to a Starbucks so I don’t really see what could go wrong.


Big things happening here! So tell me…did you have any “firsts” this weekend? If not, what was the best thing you did all weekend?

Have a great Monday!