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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bix Weekend

I had a fun filled weekend in Iowa this past weekend.  I got in late on Friday night.  There was horrible construction between Chicago and Iowa that really slowed things down.  I was signed up for a race on Saturday morning so I will quick to head to bed.

Saturday morning came too quickly as we were up by 6:15 and out the door by 6:30 to head downtown Davenport to the start of the race.  Bix 7 is a 7 mile race through downtown Davenport and is know for it's huge hills.  The race has been going on since 1975 and this year had almost 18,000 runners!  It was definitely a crowded race and I wish they would have done more of a staggered start since we were pretty boxed in for almost the first half the race.  The temperature at race start was only 82 degrees, but the heat index was over 100! I definitely could feel the humidity and was really happy for it to be over with!  I ran with my good friend Lauren, the one in the teal tank and it was so nice to get to catch up a little bit along the course.  We finished in 1:06 which was slower than I thought I would be, but the heat and hills just got the best of me!

This picture was pre-race before all of the sweaty-ness started. The race started with over a half mile stretch straight uphill! It winds through residential neighborhoods and most people with houses along the route have big parties going on during  the race which makes it really fun.  It is an out and back course so it was good to know that any hill we climbed we would get to come back down.

We were all a sweaty mess after the race, but the Bix is always known for it's great post race food.  Although not much sounded good with the 100+ head index, I did go straight for a Popsicle which is completely underrated for people over the age of 10. I think I need to mix in Popsicle's more often! It was so good!

After the race I quickly ran home, shower (completely unnecessary since I was going right back outside into the heat, and headed off to meet my Dad and Sister.  We had a nice lunch by the pool outside at the Outing Club and then I played some tennis with my brother in law.  We played at 2:00 in the afternoon at the heat of the day.  We only lasted 30 minutes, because it was pretty unbearable.  I should have just jumped straight into the pool!

Saturday night we had a big birthday party for my sister at my Mom's house.  She even catered Chipotle which is my sisters favorite.  I completely forgot to take any pictures, but we had over 30 people at my mom's house!  It was a quick trip, but it's always nice to get out of the city for the weekend.

I'll leave you with one last thing I'm loving lately.  As I've mentioned here - we've gone gluten free so we are trying all of the gluten free options we can find and these are amazing!

Happy Hump Day!


Thursday, July 23, 2015


Summertime is always the busy time.  We have had quite a few highlights so far in July.

I did a massive clean out of my closet which was much needed.  I think I still have more to clean out, but I feel like my life is a little more in order now. This isn't even all of it, but a huge trunk load made the journey to Goodwill this weekend.  I just read the book The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. It was a quick read, but really good.  It really inspired me to live more minimally which is much harder than it looks even though we only have a 1 bedroom apartment!

We did the Lincoln Park Food Tour with Kyle's family and that was so much fun.  The food was delicious and they were very accommodating of our recent gluten free lifestyle.  I wish I would have had pictures from all 6 of the stop, but was too distracted by the delicisou food to remember to take a picture. These cupcakes are from Swirlz which is apparently the largest specialty cupcake shop.  They even had gluten free and vegan options that were delicious!

On that note -- In the last few weeks we decided the start juicing!  We have watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead one too many times and we are hooked.  If you haven't seen it, it's a documentary about an overweight guy who decides to do a 60 day juice only cleanse while traveling across the USA interviewing people about their diets, food they eat, and weight.  We finally had heard enough and went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a fancy juicer and we have been juicing ever since!  It is a lot more work than we realized, but surprisingly all of the fresh vegetable aren't as expensive as we were expecting.  I usually have the juice for breakfast along with a banana with peanut butter and I feel much more energized. We have only been doing it for 2 week so I'll update my thoughts again after a few months.

Don't mind the beer can and chocolate in the middle of our juicing party. We wouldn't want to be too healthy. :)

We made a quick trip to Santa Fe, NM last weekend with Kyle's family. It was such a quick trip I didn't get to take many pictures, but we ate a lot of great food, went white water rafting and did some sight seeing.  We staying at the Santa Fe Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort, which was huge!  They had a massive casino, night clubs, a few restaurants, spa, indoor pool and outdoor pool.  It was a really great place for the family reunion since there was plenty to do for all ages. Santa Fe was a really cool city and the landscape was just gorgeous!

We are headed to Iowa this weekend to see my family and celebrate my sisters birthday!  It should be a great weekend and hopefully the weather doesn't get too steamy for us!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy July!

I can't believe the summer is half over; at least that's always how it feels to me when we hit July 4th.  Our July 4th weekend was so relaxing.  It was nice to finally have great weather in the city and get to enjoy it like tourists.  They recently expanded the riverwalk in Chicago which we have been taking full advantage of.  I think everyday this weekend we ventured down there and checked out a new place. Our habit lately has been to just take off for the day and walk the city in a different directly.  The weather has been perfect for this and it's always nice not to be sitting in a car.

This is the view from North Ave walking toward the lake.  How gorgous!  On the right you can see Goose Island.

Lunch at O'Brien's on the water with my Dad

We have eaten as O'Brien's on the river quite a few times.  I have to say the food there is definitely subpar, but you are basically paying for the view.  It is right across the river from Trump tower and it is always nice walking the boats go by on the river. For a while this was the only decent restaurant along the river, but since they have recently expanded the riverwalk a few more restaurants have popped up.

Dinner at Bridge House Tavern with some of Kyle's Family

Some of Kyle's family knew the owner at Bridge House Tavern so we were able to get really nice seats along the water.  The food here was great and they had a huge drink menu.  I have been on a kick of ordering Not Your Father's Root Beer whenever I see it on the menu.  This is definitely a place I could see us going back to.

Early dinner at Nando's, a new restaurant in the West Loop - Delicious!!
We were starving on Friday afternoon (July 3rd so we were both off work) and had originally planned to go to Parlor Pizza Bar, because it was gorgeous outside and they have a great outdoor patio, but I called them ahead of time and they said they had a long wait.  We were pretty hungry and hoping for something quick and to sit outside and ended up checking out this Nando's Peri Peri Restaurant.  I have to admit, although I had heard great things about this restaurant I still have pretty low expectations.  It's not like your typical sit down restaurant; it is set up more like a Panera in that you stand in line to order and then they bring your food to your table.  We were lucky enough to snag a table on their back patio which couldn't have been more perfect. They say that food is "International Casual Dining", but it started in South Africa.  They had a lot of options and both of us were pleasantly surprised with how good the food was.  The prices were very reasonable as well.  I think this place will be added to our rotation!

Lunch and Drinks at Cyrano's Cafe on the Riverwalk
I wasn't lying when I said we had a super low key weekend.  The 4th of July we had big plans to stay out all day and into the evening, but after checking out a few places on the riverwalk we quickly realized that the crowds of tourists just wasn't for us.  We lost steam and headed home to watch movies and order Root's Pizza.  I forgot to snap a pick, but they have awesome pizza.  We were especially happy, because they had gluten free options.

We still have a lot of stuff planned before this summer is over so hopefully it doesn't go too fast since it's the best time of year to be in the city.  Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Seabrook Island Wedding

Last weekend we made the trip to Seabrook Island (which is just outside of Charleston) for the wedding of one of my dearest, oldest friends!  It was a gorgeous wedding and I have never been out to the Carolina's so it was fun to explore a new area!  

The Bride and I at the Rehearsal Dinner!

K and I at the Rehearsal Dinner! 

Bridesmaids with the Bride!

All ready to walk down the aisle!

At the reception!

Ready to party!
After the wedding we spend a day/night in Charleston to explore the city.  It was so hot outside that there wasn't much we could do without being completely sweaty.  We did a horse drawn carriage ride through the city and then walked the markets. For dinner with went to a restaurant called Blossom; it was absolutely delicious!  I highly recommend checking out this place if you're going to be in the Charleston area. Great seafood!  


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summertime in the City

Obviously quite a bit has happened since my last post considering it's been months!  Summer is always a hectic time and there never seems to be enough hours in the day for all that I want to get done.  We have had a few weddings, showers, and birthday to celebrate in the last few month so I'll include a few of my favorite pictures of all that we have done.  It doesn't appear that our busyness will subside anytime soon!  We have a few family reunions and a few more wedding before the craziness slows down.  

Celebrating Erica's birthday a few weeks later at
 Book of Mormon at the Bank of America Theater in Chicago

Celebrating my Birthday with a Friday afternoon pedi! Thanks Erica!

Celebrating Mother's Day with the family in Bettendorf!

Memorial Day weekend was a blur of one thing after another:

Celebrating Stan's birthday with a great dinner in Pilson on Friday!
Bachelorette Party on Saturday!
And our first wedding of the season on Sunday!
And we had a Florida girls trip to visit my Florida babies!  
My sister and cousins. Aren't they adorable!
Mom, Sister and Cousins!

That's just a few of the happenings as of late!  We went to a wedding in the last few weeks as well that I'm going to do a separate post on!  Sorry for the picture overload, but it's the best way to share all of my happenings.  The weather is finally warming up in Chicago and it looks like this holiday weekend is going to be gorgeous!