weekend eats

Weekend Writer’s Block — Adventures in Chiberia

**Disclaimer: massive amounts of writer’s block going on over here. Please excuse what can only be described as a random explosion of my thoughts**

Don’t you hate days when you want to write, but you just can’t come up with the right words? I guess we’ll just have to do what anyone would do in an awkward situation: talk about the weather.

I have never seen such a drastic change in weather conditions.

24 hours ago I was casually running along the Lake Shore path in crops and a vest. And today? This is what we woke up to:

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Over a foot of snow. And the one thing I learned about living in the neighborhoods now instead of directly downtown? No one shovels anything. The sidewalks were a disaster. But let’s backtrack…

Friday night I went bowling with my college friends. I always go into bowling thinking I’m really good and then I’m lucky if I break 100. It’s that lefty curse, I’ll tell ya.

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Saturday was “date day” with my mom to round out her birthday week. We spent the afternoon baking cookies and went to our favorite suburban sandwich shop for the best tuna melt in the continental US. This will always be “our spot.”

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I got back to the city around 5pm, but since it was almost spring-like on Saturday and I knew a blizzard was coming, I threw on my running shoes the second I walked into my apartment, turned right around, and knocked out a beautiful 6 miler along the lake.

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I really went for it, outfit-wise: camo running pants, purple shoes, black vest, orange top. Ridiculous.

Saturday night was spent celebrating Spencer’s birthday. I’m so lucky to have that guy in my life. We’ve been friends since we met on the first day of high school and it really is awesome that we’ve managed to stay close ever since. We went to Headquarters in Lincoln Park, a bar completely dedicated to arcade games, so it was a fun night filled with singing Blink182 in cabs and playing pinball.unnamed (25)

Aaaaand then the Great Blizzard of 2015 hit. Okay, New York, you’ve got nothing on us. It started snowing last night around 8pm and hasn’t stopped since. We were able to catch a cab to our Superbowl shindig but ended up having to walk home afterwards…a not so pleasant experience. It took us an hour to go one mile, most of it spent walking in the street because at least those were semi-plowed. Luckily we were able to laugh about it so we stopped a lot to take silly photos and eat the leftover cookies I brought to the party.

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Oh, and just because it wouldn’t be Superbowl Weekend without some commercial-talk, here is my favorite ad of the night. I lose it every time the polar bear pops up.

Thank goodness there were still some funny ads  — too many of them made me want to either a) call my dad and tell him I love him or b) never have kids because apparently he or she might get into the chemicals under the sink. I’m all for the emotional but I’m not looking to cry when I’m elbows-deep in some buffalo chicken dip.

Sometimes weekends are a blur, and this was the case the past two days. But one thing I do know is I laughed non-stop. As I’m writing this up my cheeks hurt from all the laughter and smiling the past two days have brought me. I got to do all the things I love: run, eat buffalo chicken dip, watch football AND Katy Perry, celebrate a friend’s birthday, spend time with my family, and bake. Perfect.

And just because this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile:

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  • When you have writer’s block, what do you do? Write, or skip a day?
  • Favorite kind of cookie? I made monster cookies for the Superbowl: m&ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, oatmeal and rice krispies! They were killer.
  • Best thing you ate at your Superbowl Party? BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

NASM update, metta success, and college-town cavorting

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked, hasn’t it?

I was on a serious roll the past few months, but I have to be honest: the next two months I’m going to be just a bit less consistent. I’m in the home stretch of NASM studying and really need to focus on that. It’s tough to work, blog, and study, not to mention be committed to fitness and having a semblance of a social life while doing those three things. Writing is my outlet, though, so I’ll still be around. But that NASM textbook is my new #1 priority until the second week of January.


The metta movement on Friday was a HUGE success! Dave DID run the full 100 miles and raised more than his $25,000 goal – last time I checked he was at $28,950! That means even MORE kids are going to have that life-altering surgery. I’m not going to lie–the whole experience moved me. We surprised Dave by holding up photos of the kids he was running for and he broke down in tears every time. Needless to say we all broke down as well. I had a moment later in the weekend where I realized just how crazy it is that $250, something I would spend on clothes, shoes or food in a few weeks, can completely transform a child’s life. It is the difference between living as a leper and living in a world of possibility. I thought about those 100 kids that Dave’s feat is going to help. That’s 100 people who will now be able to thrive in society – they may go to college and discover the cure for cancer or become a global diplomat and solve world hunger. It’s just a mind-blowing thought and extremely, extremely humbling.


I spent the remainder of my weekend in Ann Arbor on a road trip with my girlfriends from college. Martina (think hipster-architect and probably the actual inventor of Pinterest) is going to the University of Michigan for grad school (Go Blue!) so we drove up to spend the weekend with her. We ate bagels and pizza like it was going out of style, laughed constantly, and danced until the early hours of the morning, losing complete track of time.


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See this is what I hate about not blogging for a few days – I start to remember a million random things I want to share with you all and there’s just no ebb and flow to the post anymore. Maybe I should rename my blog to “I Had A Big Lunch – Now Read My Word Vomit.” But anyway, did I tell you that I tried barre finally? I’ll share my review of the studio another day but it totally kicked my butt in a way that my butt has never been kicked. It wasn’t a “holy crap look how much I’m sweating” -type workout. More of a “holy crap how long can I hold my leg up like this before getting a debilitating charlie horse” and “holy crap there are a lot of mirrors in this room so I should probably actually hold a firm core for the first time in the history of a group fitness class.” Stellar.


Just another new fitness routine to add to the mix. Can we add another day to the week so I can fit in all the workouts I want to do every week? That would be perfect.

So tell me…


  • When was the last time you stayed in a college town? Did you have a blast or feel like an old prune in a sea of young, prime grapes?
  • What’s your opinion on barre workouts?
  • What was something funny, embarrassing or crazy about your weekend? Did you finally go for it and spend $15 on that jar of nut butter or spend six consecutive hours watching cat videos on YouTube?

Halloween 2020

In a surprising twist of events, Halloween 2020 ended up happening six years early.

Apparently if you have an open day and a whole lot of friends whose plans are cancelled last minute, you can throw an adorable ALMOST Pinterest-esque Halloween party. No, there weren’t donuts hanging from trees or apple bobbing, but there was Catch Phrase, spiked cider and squash so I’d say it was a success.

I started off the day in pure pumpkin bliss: pumpkin pancakes (my favorite Kodiak cakes + pure canned pumpkin + spices) and coffee filled to the brim with Bailey’s pumpkin spice creamer.


Once I heard that people were going to come over after all, I got to the prep. We ended up with quite the feast, thanks to some easy recipes and family brainstorming.

The final spread:

  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Tortilla chips and homemade guacamole
  • Grapes
  • Clementine Jack-o-Lanterns
  • Greek yogurt Spinach dip and pita crisps
  • Candy corn and peanuts
  • Spiked cider
  • Dirt cups (vanilla pudding + orange food coloring and crumbled oreos)
  • Delicata squash roasted with coconut oil, stevia and cinnamon


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We spent the night listening to the monster mash, handing out candy to a dozen characters from Frozen, playing Catch Phrase, and watching “Zodiac.” It was everything I imagined my Halloween 2020 party to be and more.

And just when I thought the weekend couldn’t get any better, I totally kicked butt in the breakfast department on Saturday. I was running early for work so I decided to take myself on a little date to my favorite bagel shop downtown, NYC Bagel Deli. This place rocks my world. I had an everything bagel with two eggs, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and green peppers.


Please let there be bagel sandwiches in heaven.


  • How did you spend your Halloween?
  • What’s your favorite Halloween candy?
  • Have you ever played board games at a party? What’s your favorite?

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



  • 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).

Jim Halpert + delicata squash

I’m ashamed of myself for missing yesterday. Mostly because it was this man’s birthday:

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Hello, giggles. We miss you on primetime TV. I’ll be watching It’s Complicated and Something Borrowed in honor of how good he makes 35 look.

And since it’s been awhile since I’ve shared my eats with you, I figured now’s as good a time as ever. I ate by myself at Portillo’s last night and it was liberating. I got to scroll through Instagram and people-watch without any of that pesky conversation to worry about. Other than that it’s been plenty of home-cooked meals, new snacks from TJ’s, and a few outings. A great balance.

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Starbucks still gets a huge % of my paycheck

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Annie’s Organic Mac n Cheese with edamame mixed in

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Lemonade-coconut water — not my favorite but the company dropped samples off at the store and nothing tastes better than free

Delicata squash!!

Delicata squash!!

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$7 taco platter!!! So freaking delicious. Thanks, Theory. I didn’t know you had it in you.

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Oh and $7 margaritas in the city ain’t bad either

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My new nut obsession – must be salted or what’s the point?

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Always a great option for a quick mini-meal from Starbucks

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Fish rice and veggies – ketchup is a veggie right?

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Tuna sandwich + pumpkin cranberry crackers and Laughing Cow

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Portillo’s chopped salad – it just never gets old

Clearly my head wasn’t in the food-photography game this past week. When writer’s block strikes, you get whatever photos I have of my food that I can pass off for an excuse for a post. Bear with me 🙂


  • Do you ever eat alone in restaurants?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

weekend eats + active rest

there’s only one thing that can make a Monday better. looking a pictures of beautiful food. I did a really good job of eating like a queen all weekend. for the sake of the blog, of course 🙂


Spinach, pepper, onion, and cheddar cheese omelet with a side of buttermilk pancakes and potatoes


Zman’s strawberry crepes with whipped cream and strawberry sauce


Shrimp salad with jicama, black beans, corn, tomatoes, queso fresco cheese, avocado, and a honey-lime-cilantro vinaigrette


Chicken pad thai


Everything bagel sandwich with an egg and some cheddar cheese


Green bean base (instead of pasta) with marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and garlic bread


2 egg omelet with spinach, red peppers, onions, veggie sausage, cheddar cheese and red pepper flakes. Black coffee on the side

So yeah.  A lot of eggs were had.

In other news, I took the weekend off from working out.  After Friday’s workout, which kicked my butt, I just wanted to take it easy.


I highly recommend this workout to anyone at any fitness level. It’s very straightforward and you don’t need any equipment besides a kettlebell.  Don’t have one? Use a gallon of milk or something of similar weight!

The rest of the weekend was all about walking, or as I call it “active rest”. Rest days don’t have to be all about lounging on the couch. You can give your body a rest from the intensity of tough workouts but still get your blood flowing and legs moving. Walking is a great form of active rest and I’ve found it’s a great thing to do when it seems like your whole week has revolved around a computer screen.   On Saturday alone Zman and I walked 6 miles all around the city.  Those three hours were perfect because they were sans phone, computer, or music. It was all about talking and exploring.  It was also a gorgeous time to walk through the city, especially Lincoln Park, because of the falling leaves and chilly temps that just make you want to head to Starbucks for a piping hot cup of coffee in their red holiday cups.

First things first, we walked to Zman’s flag football game.


It was the playoffs, and even though they lost it was still really fun to watch (especially because it had rained the night before so people were slipping and falling with every turn thanks to the mud. Pretty entertaining stuff)

After the game we walked to The Original Pancake House on Clark Street for breakfast. We passed some crazy leftover pumpkins on the way:


Adorable 🙂

Once we got to breakfast I thought about getting their Dutch Apple Pancake, which they’re famous for, but in the end I went with my favorite: veggie omelet with cheddar cheese. I think this wins the award for best omelet in the city (maybe that’s because it also wins most cheese inside an omelet, but that’s neither here nor there…)


Can you tell breakfast is my favorite meal of the day?

We also stopped by Megan and Christina’s apartment to see their new foster cat!


Meet Samson! He’s a speedy little guy so taking a picture without a blur was tough! Seriously one of the cutest little kittens in the world! I don’t know how those two are going to give him up after their two week foster period is up…

Then Zman and I began our long walk of the day, passing by Lincoln Park Zoo, Lake Shore Drive, and other parts of Chicago we hadn’t been to yet.


The rest of the weekend was pretty mellow and just included Thai food, friends, and a little marathon of one of our new favorite shows:

Do you watch Modern Family? Spencer, Megan, Zman and I sat around for almost five hours on Saturday night watching episodes and it never got old. So funny!

Not much to share from yesterday because I had to work from 12-7 at the restaurant so nothing too exciting there. But tonight I’m heading back to the city after work for a girls night to watch the Bears v. Packers game. Nothing weird about that, right?