A Sunshine Problem

We are having a serious problem in Chicago (and from what I hear other parts of the country are as well).  It’s a 70 degree November! 

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Although this doesn’t sound like a serious problem, or even a problem at all, I can assure you that it is.  You see, it is really quite challenging to get anything done when it is absolutely gorgeous outside.  Case and point, I had a 3 day weekend and spent very little time at home at all.  It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that I finally slowed down enough to grocery shop, finish laundry, and ‘adult’ for a bit.

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Friday, I was supposed to go to a continuing ed course but after a busy and exhausting week, I decided I needed a mental health day.  I didn’t set an alarm and took my time enjoying a morning latte and breakfast while doing some yoga planning.  It was such a beautiful day, I knew I wanted to run.  I figured it’d be fun to head down to Wrigleyville to catch some of the Cubs action and say ‘Hi’ to my mom. 

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I ran the two miles down to Wrigley with the crowds of blue shirts growing as I got closer.  I explored a bit and then finally found my mom and our friend.  We had a great spot to watch the trolleys go by and then moved into another fabulous location to see the players head off on top of their buses.

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I ran back home and showered before spending the afternoon with some out of town friends and then hosted an impromptu dinner at our house Friday night.  Saturday, I was up and on my bike teaching a private yoga lesson and then getting in a strength session at the gym.  With all the beautiful weather (plus our move), my gym time has been limited and I’m beginning to miss my muscles.

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The BOY and I decided to walk a few blocks over to Lincoln Square for lunch and the butcher.  We were debating which place to stop for outdoor seating and a beer.  We changed our mind on the butcher and walked a mile and a half down Lincoln where we did find lunch, a delicious new beer, and college football.

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It was a spectacular day and we Ubered  home with our meat to go hang out on the back porch.

I had a much needed quiet Saturday night in catching up on sleep.  Sunday was another stunning day.  I took a yoga class across the street and then the BOY and I met my brother and SIL for Dim Sum in Chinatown. 

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Everyone was shocked to hear that this was my first time in Chicago’s Chinatown (other than running through during the marathon) and so we took a quick walk along the square before driving back home.  The BOY had work to do and I strolled down to the grocery store for food for the week.  Although I knew I had a few important things to do once I got home, it was tempting to just walk to the lakefront and spend the afternoon in the sunshine.  Hence…the sunshine problem!

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I must admit this problem is a great problem to have as I know that any week now we could be hit with a snow storm.  So until then I will enjoy the extra vitamin D and know that there will be plenty of winter weekends to finally clean my closets and ‘adult’ a bit more : )

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Using the Weather as an Excuse…

Sunday was a lazy day!

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It’s such a double edged sword…last weekend, we ran around and had a blast in the city, but I was missing some down time.  This Sunday, was all about the down time and of course I felt guilty about using the cold wet weather as a reason not to leave my house.  My day included… Me, the BOY, Cooper, and Netflicks…oh and few rounds of baking and laundry.  All while in the comfort of my jammies.  It was THAT kind of day!  And it was wonderful!

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Monday, I woke up recharged and ready to burn off some energy.  With the sun out, I knew I wanted to get out and run!

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Now this is my kind of running weather! I ran 6 miles along the path, along with my thoughts, and soaking up some sunshine.

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The rest of my day was typical Monday…grocery store, meal prep, and paperwork.

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I figured instead of starting of the week with what’s in my crockpot, I’d rather share these amazing cookies with you that I made yesterday.  I had all the ingredients on hand, and so in between episodes of Scandal, I ran back and forth to the kitchen to whip up the BOY’s favorite cookies!

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They are super sweet and will start  your Monday off right!

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Meal Planning and more recipes coming to you soon!  Today, I’m using the sunny weather as an excuse to not want to blog any more : )

 

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

From Recipe Diaries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats, but I used half and half)

Directions

  1. First, you put the raisins in a small pan of water uncovered and cook till puffy. Put in strainer to drain and cool.
  2. Cream and beat together (using electric mixer) the butter, brown sugar, and eggs.
  3. Mix together the flour (unsifted), soda, baking powder, cinnamon, oatmeal and add to the creamed mixture, using beater to mix.
  4. Last, add the raisins.
  5. With a spoon, mix them in ever so lightly.
  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheets or Silpats.
  7. Bake them at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Take them out before they get brown!
  8. Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to waxed paper to cool completely.
  9. Enjoy!

D N T R

I woke up early this morning, before my alarm, brushed my teeth, made some tea, and got dressed in layers.  Around 7am, the BOY and I walked outside into the freezing streets of Chicago to clean off my car.

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We drove north towards Montrose Harbor, looking for a place to park as we got close.  When we found a random parking lot, I felt lucky, until I changed out of my boots and into my running shoes and lost feeling in a few of my fingers.

It was so brutal cold that even the pay box didn’t want to operate quickly.  As I skidded along the icy parking lot to figure out my license plate number, it occurred to me that running in this weather over this ice was going to be brutal.  And when it was my turn to pay for parking ($16 for less than 2 hours), it hit me.  Why???  Why run this 10k?

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I could tell you that I was worried about the weather, slipping on the ice, or feeling sick and crappy for the rest of the day.  But the truth…life is just to short to spend your Saturday morning walking along the lake by yourself in freezing cold weather wondering why?!

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So instead…I got back in my car, changed back into my Uggs, and the BOY and I drove straight to breakfast at Bakin&Eggs.  I Decided Not To Run (D N T R).  Sitting together chatting over steaming hot bevvies, I felt strongly that I was exactly where I should be.  Together with my husband, warm and cozy, and appreciating the morning!

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Our food was AMAZING and because we were there so early, we got a discount.  Note: the only other people awake and eating with us were families with young kids.

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We started with a bacon flight and then devoured everything in sight…as if I had spent my morning burning calories on a run and not just dressed like it…ha ha!

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After brekkie, we went back to my brother’s for a much needed nap!  The rest of our day was spent meeting friends at our favorite pizza place for lunch (Spacca Napoli), and then we swung by the BOY’s sister’s on our way home to meet Cooper’s newest cousins.

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These 6 week old kittens are absolutely adorable and so much fun!

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The BOY and I are spending Saturday night at home having date night with wine, Blacklist, and hopefully some games, which makes me super happy!  Am I sad I didn’t race today?  For sure!  I was looking forward to a running along Lake Michigan and testing my speed a bit.  Did I make the right decision?  Yes!  Sometimes, its just not worth it!

Have you ever D N T R?  Why?

All Things Yoga…

Like I said, everything this week is turning up YOGA : )

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And I LoVeD it!!!

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Sunday I went to the Easter class with my mom and was back on my mat Monday morning for the 6am class.  Then I taught a Spring Break workshop to an energetic group of kiddos.

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Wednesday, I got out of work early for the second week in a row and so I darted off to the 6:30pm class at my studio.  I would have loved to run, but the clouds were dark and stormy, so I took the safe route.  The entire class was based on opening our upper back, which felt fantastic.  By the end, my thoracic spine felt so open that I popped into my half wheel and lifted one leg into the air.  I was stunned.  Not only have I not done that in years decades, but it never crossed my mind to try.  I think my open spine allowed me to really push through my arms which unweighted my leg and up to the sky it went!

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Thursday, I worked a half day and then jetted off to the city for the Kathryn Budig Aim True event.  I had enough time to grab coffee and do nails with my SIL before picking up a friend and driving downtown.

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We arrived at Block 37 surrounded by brightly dressed yogi’s toting mats.  The first hour was swag hour and I collected Lunabars, mat cleaner, and chapstick while I sipped kombucha and snacked on coconut oil popcorn.

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We took a bunch of pictures while the sun sank over the city.  At 7pm, everyone found their mats for the yoga portion.  I’ve never done yoga in a large group and loved the idea of sharing energy (and space) with that many like minded people.

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Kathryn’s message of finding your authentic self rang true and the yoga was creative and fun.  It wasn’t the most in depth practice I’ve ever done, but so unique and inspiring in different ways.  After the class, we grabbed a little more swag and then a class of wine.

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Despite having a week of yoga, I was eager to squeeze in a run Friday morning.  Luckily, when I woke up in the morning, the weather agreed.  It was 40 and the rain held off for me to run from my brother’s house to meet a friend for her Friday morning Donut Club!

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I ran the two plus miles, circling to build ob some time.  Then dove right into the mix of donuts shared between the table.  The blueberry and maple were by far my favorites.  I snagged a few donuts to go and jogged back home to my brothers.  After a quick shower, I headed over to Southport for an eyebrow wax, shopping, and Starbucks. 

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Talk about a FUN Friday!

With all of the yoga, my mind and body were feeling so flexible and strong in prep for an exciting weekend.  It also has me looking forward to my 200 hour teacher training which I am signed up for and begins in 2 months.  Woo hoo!

Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind…

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It had some highs…beautiful weather, good workouts, and dinner and beers with friends.

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But the low was that I’m not sure that I got nearly enough sleep!  Ain’t that always the truth?!

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Saturday morning, I taught two fun kids yoga classes with an amazing group of kids.  Afterwards, my yoga volunteer and I had coffee and quiches at All Chocolate Kitchen.  I am borderline obsessed with the place and love any excuse to go!  Saturday night, we met friends for dinner and beers at a local brewery.  We had wonderful food and conversation!

Sunday was a beautiful day and I enjoyed a speedy 5 mile run along the path.  My first mile was 7:46, which shocked me and I somehow averaged out my miles to around 8:15.  I was exhausted when I was done, but thrilled to be running outdoors.  We had a nice Sunday afternoon hanging out with the BOY’s family.

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Monday was another sunny day!  Woo hoo!  I headed off to a 9:30am yoga class, which was truly incredible.  Love starting my week on my mat!  The rest of my day was pretty typical with the addition of a dentist appointment (no cavities!).

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When I got home, I put away groceries and started on this week’s food prep.  Dinner went into the crockpot, I chopped veggies, and then whipped up another batch of Power Balls.  This week’s flavor was inspired by the delicious Coconut Cashew Butter I bought last week.

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I decided to add in a bit of protein powder as well.

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I think that I could probably add in some more nutrition powerhouses next time, but didn’t want to mess with the recipe the first time I made it.

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The texture of these balls turned out perfect and I love the flavor!  I know they will be exactly what the BOY and I need to fuel us throughout the week.  I tried to do some paperwork tonight, but my computer wouldn’t connect to the internet (bummer!), so instead, the BOY, Cooper, and I are watching Big Hero 6 (also important for my work…ha ha!)

What were your weekend highs and lows?

What’s your favorite snack bar/ball recipe? Share the Link!

 

Meal Planning 3/07/16

Monday: Steak and Fish

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Cauliflower

Wednesday: Potato Bar with Chicken and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

From Grain Crazy

Ingredients

1 cup cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut shredded

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/4 C honey

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (optional)

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional and totally tasty!)

Directions

1. In a blender or food processor blend cashews and coconut until combined and broken down.
2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture and then pour in everything else in to the blender except the chips. Blend until all combined.
3. Fold in the chips. Roll into small bite size balls.
4. Roll the balls into the 1/2 cup mixture you set aside. Place on a plate or into a covered container. Let them harden in the fridge and enjoy.
5. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Don’t Forget Your Book {When Going to the Social Security Office}

Good Evening Friends!  How was your Monday?

I slept over at my parents last night (just for some hang time with the P’s).  I got the most amazing night of sleep and this morning grabbed a quick bite of food before driving to Starbucks and arriving at the social security office 20 minutes before it opened, latte in hand, to be the 45th-ish person in line!  Yikes!  When they opened, we slowly filed in and right before I checked in on the computer, I was informed that my latte had to wait outside.  Ugh!  At least the sun was shining so after getting my number, I was happy to head back outside to hide my latte and water bottle in my car.

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Sadly, I forgot my book at home which meant that I spent the next two hours playing on my phone and using up all my data. I played one million word games and moved twice (the first time because the only child in the office was sitting next to me and kicking me and the second because I walked around outside while talking to the BOY).

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After 2 hours of waiting, it only took about 3 minutes to apply for my new social security card.  I headed back home in the sunshine deciding that a run was definitely in order.

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I bundled up and hit the path for fresh air.  After a morning of sitting, it felt amazing to be out.  And 6 miles is a lot of time to think and de-stress.

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My plan was 6 miles but I hit a road block just after mile 2.  Like in life, sometimes the path is not clear, so I turned around and remapped out my 6 miles in my head. 

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This was my longest run of the year and my head was tired, but my legs kept pumping!

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When I came home, I showered quickly and decided to try to hit up the DMV for a new driver’s license.  This time I remembered my book.  However, my wait was not nearly as long.  We did have a bit of a snafu because my new and old name are so similar so I ended up with a new picture on my ID card and the old one (from when I turned 30) on my license with my new name.

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Either way, I am officially a Mrs.  I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and ate lunch when I walked in the door around 4pm.  I must confess that I went super simple with dinners this week.  The main reason is that I haven’t been that hungry so wasn’t craving anything.  The other reason was that I decided to come home and proceed with my name changing venture online.

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I know you’re bummed that I don’t have an awesome new dinner recipe for you this week!  I’m bummed too!  But I do have a good snack ball recipe that I’ll get working on this week…in between practicing my new signature, of course : )

What do you do while waiting at an office?

Five for Friday XXVIII

1. Let me tell you about my Tuesday morning commute…I was running late and ran out the door with enough time to get to work until I got stopped at the world’s slowest train.  When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the train actually stopped.  15 minutes later, I had pictures and a video and was on my way to work.  Thankfully,  I only arrived 3 minutes late, but Ugh…it was a rough way to start the week.

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2. Yesterday morning, I finally got over my snooze addiction.  I realized what was holding me back from early morning workouts was motivation.  I love to run, but the treadmill is just not fun or inviting.  With warm-ish weather here in Chicago, I felt motivated to climb out of bed, bundle up, and go for a snowy run along the path.

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3. Tomorrow I am teaching a kids yoga workshop.  It is for a wonderful group and I have some great new ideas, but man, every time I teach, I really get so nervous. I wonder if this will ever change…speaking of yoga workshops…I have a playlist to work on…

 

4. This morning was a bit easier to get out of bed (although I did stay up way too late last night having a glass of wine with some friends) because I was going to  yoga!  #postyogaglow!

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5. Tomorrow we are up early for a workout so it’s a calm night in our household.  A little dinner, a movie, and we are all off to bed!

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