run

weekend in rhymes + workout accountability

Having a schedule like mine is super weird. Not sure if I’ve mentioned that before (sarcasm).

Sundays used to feel odd – like the “end” of something. Now it’s just another day, and knowing that this morning is a Monday ain’t no thang. That being said, the one thing I do appreciate about the weekends is I get to spend a lot more time with loved ones (because, sadly, most everyone else has a normal life and they use the weekends to do activities. how rude).

Lot’s happened this weekend. so let’s be obnoxious and rhyme about it.

There was spinning, painting, applesauce-making and Red-Robin-shaking (those bottomless fries, yo):

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There was running at sunset down Lake Shore Drive (with donuts on donuts for my running to thrive):

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There were babies in costumes I creeped on online, and Hawks game raffles where I won a prize:

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Popcorn and sweet potatoes, surprise surprise. You fools dominate my taste buds, despite all other tries:

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Okay end rhymes. My “Sunday night glass of wine” brain thought that was a good idea five minutes ago but now it’s clear I’m running out of juice (both figuratively and literally).

Finally, a few funnies to start your week:

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Just kidding that wasn’t last – I have to keep making sure that I’m holding myself accountable for my workouts. I did pretty well this past week!

Workout Accountability 10/20-10/26

  • Monday: 4 mile run
  • Tuesday: Body by Jake full-body video (free on Hulu!)
  • Wednesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Thursday: Flywheel
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 5.25 mile run

HECK YES!

Questions:

  • What was your favorite workout this week?
  • Do weekends seem like a big deal to you or do you have a wacko schedule too?
  • Ever been to Red Robin? What’s your favorite thing there? (bottomless fries are a given).
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thinking out loud – why is my hair falling out, who do I tip, and what do women want?

Happy #thinkingoutloud thursday!

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It’s haaaaappennnning!

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I usually hate stopping while I run (it makes my legs automatically feel like tree trunks the minute I start to run again) but I just couldn’t miss capturing the beautiful scenery during my five miles yesterday. There’s nothing better than a pullover sweatshirt, laced-up sneakers, music and that crisp autumn air.

I followed this lady’s recipe a few days ago and ended up with the world’s most perfect muffins (minus the craisins, plus millet = perfection). Never used millet before? Try it. It makes everything perfectly crunchy, exactly what fluffy baked goods need 🙂

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I’m pretty sure my hair is falling out. I know that most women think that’s true, but I’m starting to worry, as I think I pull out a good clump or two of hair every time I blow dry it. What’s happening?! Is there a food I can eat or vitamin I can take to fix this? I also have very brittle nails…are these two things connected? I know I could easily Google it but every time I Google health symptoms it’s usually followed with a hysterical email to my doctor paranoid that I’m dying of some kind of incurable disease. Halp!

Help

I am unprepared to be an adult. There are so many unanswered questions. For instance, what does “writing something off” on your tax form mean? I understand the words, I understand the idea, I just really DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. If you hire men to deliver a couch from Crate and Barrel and pay a $50 shipping fee, do you still have to throw the guys a $20 or something when they deliver it? What’s kosher? If you get your hair cut and styled do you have to tip the person who shampoos you and then tip your stylist too? Who gets what, and how much?! Do I ever REALLY need a credit card?  It’s so stressful. Not a fan of these questions. I’m going to stay 23 forever, okay?

Did you hear about the latest “WTF were you thinking” story? It has to do with everyone’s favorite show (okay, everyone’s “I’m sick on the couch and there’s nothing on at 3pm in the afternoon, favorite) Jeopardy!

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Right away you know it’s going to be bad when this is the category title. Well, that, and the average viewer’s age is 65. Here are some of the answers:

xxfciaryzcgn3kjzk1ig…..What is, a crossword puzzle.

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…..what is, a vacuum.

For the love of almighty god.

What Women Want: not equal pay, not power over my own body, not equal access to education, not freedom to walk down the street in whatever I want to wear without fear, not an engineering degree OR a spot on the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad (because it’s my choice).

Nope. Women want a few moments of peace and quiet (from, I’m assuming, our bumbling, overweight and unappreciative husband and two kids) for a crossword puzzle and some help with the freaking vacuum cleaner.

Ok rant over. But seriously – this would’ve turned heads in 1995. It’s 2014. What in the world were those producers thinking? (And if they WERE thinking, touche, PR team, touche. Way to get some free press).

I’m seeing Gone Girl tonight!!! Is anyone else going this weekend? I used Fandango for the first time in my life, out of fear that the Thursday night showings would sell out and I’d be forced to wait until Friday night (unfathomable). I’m going to try my best not to post spoilers but I seriously can’t wait. They rewrote the entire third part of the novel for the film so I have no idea how it’s going to end. Which is crazy considering I spent much of the third part literally yelling at my book, it was that good. So, so good.

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SPOOKY, right? I can’t wait 🙂

Oh, finally,

There’s a 99% chance I’m going to this lady’s concert by myself in a few weeks.

I bought two tickets at the beginning of summer, back when I thought I knew everything and exactly where I’d be on a Tuesday night in October. Nowadays I’m letting the tides flow where they may, so as of now I’m either putting out an ad on Craigslist or you can prepare yourselves for pics of me riding solo at the House of Blues. But in all seriousness if any local ladies have some Betty Who love hit me up and we can make an evening out of it 😉

What’s on your mind this Thursday? What’s the best workout you’ve had this week? When was the last time you saw a movie in theaters, and what was it? Got any answers for my “losing hair/brittle nails” debacle? What do you think women want?

CARA 20 miler, Taco Fest, and Accountability

What started on Friday night as a “Holy crap I’m burned out someone get me a glass of wine” kind of weekend turned out to be jam-packed with fun. I honestly didn’t want to leave my house after getting home Friday night. I had grand plans of seeing a cover band and causing all-around shenanigans but I ended up parked on my couch sending out depressing snapchats about the whole ordeal.

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Yes I took a screenshot of my own snapchat. I now know how to save it, so no need to educate me. I am technologically challenged.

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Saturday was the usual run, eat, work, but I did have a chance to go out with some friends that night which was fun. I was NOT happy about my 5:30am wake-up call on Sunday morning but hey, sometimes you have to sacrifice sleep in order to pretend you still have a social life.

Sunday was where the real action happened.

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I was a lululemon representative at the 20 miler that the Chicago Area Runners Association puts on every year a few weeks before the Chicago Marathon. We all arrived at 7:00am to set up our signs, our tent and our freebies for all the runners. First of all, it was COLD. I ran to my car for five minutes at least three times that morning just to warm up. In related news it was 85 degrees in Chicago on Saturday. So, let me just tell you, if the apocalypse starts somewhere, I promise you it’s going to be in the Windy City.

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Despite the weather, it was a beautiful day. A few of us cheered on the runners (my favorite job!) while others handed out wet towels with eucalyptus oil on them for relaxation after the run. Others were stationed at the lululemon tent, handing out flip flops, CRAZY good granola, and foam rollers to borrow. Bethany, did you come try to find me? I heard someone was asking for me so if it wasn’t you I’m worried I might have a stalker 😉

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I’m not a member of CARA because I haven’t lived in the city permanently for a long enough time that it seemed like a good idea, but let me tell you: I love that group. The energy, the love of running, the people…it’s overwhelming! I had so much fun watching people of all different shapes, sizes and ages cross the finish line, having just accomplished a 20 mile run – and whether it was their first or their 40th, you could tell that every runner was so proud of themselves. I was so happy to be a volunteer!

That afternoon I made my way north of the city for Lakeview Taco Fest, where I probably brushed paths with Amy without even noticing. I still can’t believe we keep missing each other!

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The highlight was the free wine tasting sponsored by Cupcake Wines at the beginning of the festival. I tried their prosecco (can’t go wrong) and a red velvet red, which wasn’t my favorite but my friends all agreed it’s now their new go-to red. Plus it was basically a wine truck – how much better does it get than that?

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Korean smoked pork taco from Toons Bar & Grill

Korean smoked pork taco with Asian slaw from Toons Bar & Grill – tie for first place! Deeelish

Smoked Chicken Taco from D.S. Tequila Company - my favorite of the day. The elote corn hash, on the other hand, was underwhelming.

Smoked Chicken Taco from D.S. Tequila Company – another favorite of the day. The elote corn hash, on the other hand, was underwhelming. But it looked too beautiful to pass up!

Tacos from Crosby's Kitchen - pretty great! The toppings were creative and tasty, but the meat was dry. I've heard it's an expensive place so I'd rather spend less $ at an authentic Mexican restaurant for better meat. Rotisserie chicken taco + the Smoke Daddy pulled pork taco

Rotisserie chicken taco + Smoke Daddy pulled pork taco from Crosby’s Kitchen – pretty tasty! The toppings were creative and delicious, but the meat itself was dry. I’ve heard it’s an expensive place so I’d rather spend less money at an authentic Mexican restaurant for better meat. 

I left pretty stuffed, but in true Lauren fashion I was hungry three hours later. It just doesn’t end! I act like that’s a big burden in my life lawlz – like being a bottomless pit is some kind of cross I have to bear. I guess someone’s got to do it 😉 Oh, I also noticed after taking this picture that I’m making a fist. I’d like to think I’m just pumped about all the great tacos about to enter my belly.

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To end my weekend wrap-up I’m going to start posting my workouts on Monday from the past week in order to give myself some accountability. Granted, I know that life throws a wrench in your plans every once in awhile, but working out at least five out of seven days is a value I hold and it needs to once again be the rule, not the exception. I’m happy to report I kicked butt this past week!

  • Monday:4 mile run
  • Tuesday: 60 minute Flywheel Class
  • Wednesday: 4 mile run
  • Thursday: C2 Yoga at Corepower
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 4 mile run (last mile was a combination of sprint/walk)
  • Sunday: Rest

Thumbs up all around!

4861214_origQuestions:

  • What would it take for you to run 20 miles? A lifetime supply of chia seeds? A $1000 Trader Joe’s gift card? A date with Leonardo DiCaprio? Spill it.
  • Best taco you’ve ever had, and where you got it.
  • Has the weather been doing a total 180 from day-to-day where you’re from?

almost wordless week(end)

What’s new, crew! Sorry I disappeared for a few days – the rest of the week was a bit of a blur thanks to some unforeseen family stuff and I usually don’t have time to write on the weekends (too busy eating to write about eating, yaknowwhatimean?)

But while it’s been eventful to say the least, I did manage to have some great moments of fun out and about. If I took the time to explain each and every moment this post would be a decade long so let’s do an (almost) wordless weekend.

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Just a little pumpkin-crazy

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Early morning run in my favorite tech top from lululemon.

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…Followed by a heavy dose of veggie icing and the Today show

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Got some Skoop in the mail! So excited to review this next week for you guys!

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And just like that it’s fall in Chicago! On the walk to work

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Avocado-tomato grilled cheese + pumpkin beer.

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Slowly (but surely) building up the muscles again. Yoga Sculpt

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio - my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn't take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!

Homeslice Wheelhouse patio – my new favorite happy hour spot. I didn’t take my own pic because the travel channel was filming there!

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Eating allll the pizza

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Moscow Mule + pizza with olive oil, garlic (so much!), basil, feta and tomatoes. I died.

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It's the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him...

Been listening to a lot of John Mayer lately. It’s the perfect writing music! You either love him or you hate him…

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BYOO – Bring Your Own Oatmeal to Starbucks. 9 out of 10 times the baristas will help a sister out 🙂

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Bad mood killer. Best snack in the history of snacks. Candy corn + super salty peanuts

I’m also trying to create a pumpkin chili recipe today so I’ll be sharing that as soon as I’m sure it tastes great 😉

Can’t wait to read all about your weekends! Have a fabulous Monday!

Questions:

  • What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
  • Love or hate John Mayer?
  • Best part of your weekend…go!

scenes from the weekend

Hi folks! I can’t wait to read about all your weekends. Mine was filled with tons of activity, sunshine, furniture shopping and, of course food. Is anyone else blown away that it’s June? March, April and May flew by but I’m hoping that June will slow its roll so we can enjoy the nice weather that we all deserve so much.

As you saw yesterday, Zain and I started out the weekend by biking to the farmers market early Saturday morning. We didn’t buy anything but it was just nice to walk around and see the options for the future. Next time I’ll be sure to go around lunch time – there were tons of awesome food options! Tacos, fancy grilled cheese, crepes…I was pretty mad I had just eaten breakfast haha. I never like to miss out on food like that.

Breakfast before the market was peanut butter and bananas on a sandwich thin + coffee

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Zain finally learned what it takes to date a blogger so he likes to take “spontaneous” pictures of our adventures.IMG_7804

I also noticed that everyone at the farmers market was in athletic gear. These are my people.IMG_7856

After the market I met up my friend Megan for a bootcamp class. It was the last class in my two week pass at Yoga Loft and I really can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss it. Once I have to stop paying all those beginning fees and additional costs of moving I’ll for sure get a 10-pass there to use over the span of a few weeks. That place kicked my butt and I loved every second of it.

IMG_7850The rest of the day was spent furniture shopping. Zain is all about the deals so we ended up biking + walking about five miles or so to a furniture outlet in the middle of nowhere. We felt like we were on a pilgrimage across the Sahara (it was 95 on Saturday) so when we saw 7-Eleven and were sure it wasn’t a mirage, we picked up some Slurpees.

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Saturday night I hung out on Megan’s roof watching the sunset and drinking wine, so it was basically the perfect day.

Sunday was spent church-going, grocery shopping and Blackhawks-watching. The weekend was full and fabulous – but don’t think I’d leave you without showing you all the food I ate!

For some random reason I was all about the salads this weekend:

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Mixed greens with hard boiled egg, tomato, blue cheese, avocado and balsamic vinaigrette.

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Arugula with mozzarella and baby tomatoes (dressed with the oil that the mozzarella was soaking in plus TJ’s balsamic glaze)

But don’t think I just ate salads all weekend – that would just be nonsense.

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Mahi mahi with herbes de provence and lemon, breadcrumb and herbes de provence-stuffed tomatoes and roasted brussel sprouts

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Spinach-egg white breakfast wrap from Starbucks (plus it looks like the barista was cursing me out haha)

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Veggie burger topped with cheddar, bbq sauce and onion straws

It was a blast of a weekend – I even started off Monday right with a 6:00am 4 mile run. Now that summer is here morning runs are going to be a lot more common. Everything is on the up and up!

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Happy Monday!

Questions:

  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite homemade salad combo? I need some new inspiration!
  • Did you try anything new this weekend?

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!

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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).

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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.

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First lazy “summer” weekend in Chicago

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

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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.

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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!

keep calm and run like simba

Hey all!

I hope you had a kickass weekend.  Mine was….busy to say the least, but I like it that way! I ate great food and even got to run outside, so I can’t complain.  The fact that it was warm enough to get outside and pound the pavement got me way too excited for spring, a pretty premature feeling here in Chicagoland according to the weatherman.

But hey, I’ll take what I can get. The only downside was I couldn’t find a headband for the life of me so I looked like Simba by mile four.

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One of the most important things I did this weekend was sign up for the Shamrock Shuffle downtown this upcoming Sunday! I was going back and forth about actually running this…call it fear, call it laziness, call it tight-wallet syndrome but I just couldn’t commit. Well I finally bit the bullet yesterday and registered. I’ll be running with my friend Jordan, and with a new playlist and visions of our post-race brunch, I’m confident that I’m going to kick butt.  Here’s to hoping it hits 40 degrees!

In terms of food I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies and pure sources of protein into my diet in preparation of summer, and I’ve definitely been making some progress! Like we talked about last week, it’s hard to crave veggies in cold weather (unless they’re covered in cheese, of course) but I’ve done a decent job. Not to mention I’m still balancing those healthy choices with things like cheesy chicken quesadillas the size of my head and chocolate. It’s a work in progress.

I have a crazy amount of work to do over the next few days so I’ll be back on Wednesday! But until then, here are a few pictures of my weekend happenings. Have a great Monday! Can you believe it’s almost April? Good lord.

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shrimp, jicama, avocado, black beans, queso fresco, corn, peppers, tomatoes and onions

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Protein Box from Starbucks

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Pounded chicken with a panko/red pepper flake/garlic crust, baked at 400 for 45 minutes. Served with “hot pasta” aka pasta, finger hot peppers, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and salt. Also the smallest glass of wine you’ll ever see

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Homemade bran muffins

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This was the best thing I saw all weekend. I don’t understand if there’s a cake in there or if m&ms just spill out, but either way, sign me up

Questions:

  • What was the best thing you did this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite part of spring that you’re looking forward to?

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