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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It’s Not Selfish…

Tonight, I went running out of work with barely a goodbye to my coworkers and friends telling my boss I was in need of some ‘Self Care’ in hopes of getting home in time for a 7pm yoga class.  My work schedule has been fairly inconsistent which has made planning in workouts and classes more difficult.  On top of that, the Cubs have me partying like it’s 1999 (the college not the high school portion, mom and dad!).

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So I ran out of work, sped home, changed quickly and felt grateful that the yoga studio was right across the street.  When I walked in, the yoga teacher said to me…I was just thinking about you (we are collaborating on a course) and was just looking at your resume today.  It was like she knew I was coming.  I said how happy I was to be there and found a place for my mat.

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We got started with breath work and stretching and it was clear from the start what a cohesive class we formed. When it came time to set an intention, the teacher suggested that we set one for Self-Care…I mean seriously universe, could your message be more clear???  I set my intention, worked through my practice and VERY happily left the studio 80 minutes later.  And then entered the doorway straight across which happens to belong to this absolutely spectacular wine bar called Ampersand.

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I picked up a kale salad to go (because it is the most amazing thing ever) and paired it with some leftovers and red wine for dinner.  Life has been pretty non-stop lately in only the BEST way!  On top of my regular work and yoga teaching schedules, the Chicago Cubs madness has taken over our lives a bit.  I come from a mixed household when it comes to baseball and am your stereotypical fair weather fan, but this excitement 108 years in the making is hard to escape when you’re living just a few miles away…not that we would want to.

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Last Saturday, the BOY and I met friends for a local brew tour followed by lunch with all our new best friends.  We ended up enjoying some fun local beer and walking all over the neighborhood.

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We had just enough time when we got home to shower and change into our blue and red for the (sad) Saturday night World Series game.  By Sunday night, a bit of the chaos had calmed down and I decided to accompany my mom and our friends for a walk around Wrigley.  It was unlike anything I have ever seen and really incredible.  The energy of the city was electric!

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It even had me staying up way past my bed time for a baseball game.  Rare!!!  By Monday everyone was exhausted, but we kept trucking on making it out for Tuesday nights game and staying up until the wee hours to watch the Cubs win the World Series on Wednesday night.  The win was followed by cheering, singing, and horn honking, even in our quiet neighborhood.  Which of course had Cooper running for cover.  It’s not at all surprising that I was craving a yoga class tonight.  I am working hard to find balance in this new city with a much more active social life and so many fun opportunities.

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And with that in mind, I decided to skip the free continuing ed class I was supposed to go to tomorrow in favor of some sleep and exercise…and perhaps a bath!

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I just keep reminding myself…it’s not selfish, it’s SELF CARE!  And much needed!

 

How do you fit in ‘self care’? 

At the Old Ball Game

Happy July 5th!  Doesn’t sound that exciting…does it???

 

Did you have to head back to work today or are you off through the weekend? (If this is the case, please don’t answer because I will be super jealous!)  It was tough to wake up this morning, but knowing that I only had one day to make it to the weekend, got me through it.

 

We had a nice 4th of July holiday!  It started with a hilly 10k, followed by a nap, with a festive sweet sandwiched in between, and then ended with a ball game.  How very American!

 

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Even though the thermometer read 100 degrees, we braved the heat and headed down to Comiskey US Cellular Field for a night time White Sox game followed by fireworks.

 

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The good news was that we had club level seats, so there was access to air conditioning as needed.

 

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As the sun went down, the temperature dropped all the way down to 90 degrees.

 

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The game was tied up through the 9th inning until the White Sox scored in extra innings in the bottom of the 10th.

 

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The packed stadium went nuts and the entire crowd was on their feet!!!

 

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It was a late night, but an exciting finish to a long game.  And the fireworks made a wonderful and patriotic finale!

 

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After the show, we all piled back down the ramps to exit the stadium.  As we were walking out, there was a 360 degree view of fireworks from all the cities and counties around Chicago.  It was incredible to see, and people were lining the ramps to watch the impressive shows.  We made our way back to the parking lot and 30 minutes later, finally made it to the highway.  Shorty after 11pm, we crashed into bed.  There were still a few fireworks crashing outside our window, and I was jealous of everyone who got to stay up a little bit and sleep in a little later this morning.

 

 

How was your 4th of July?  Did you stay up late to watch the fireworks?

A Busy Monday Morning

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I can’t believe that yesterday we were outside at the White Sox game and this morning I woke up to this…YUCK!

 

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I thought it was supposed to be spring time!  I was up early this morning and headed straight into the kitchen.  I enjoyed a bowl of overnight oats (made with chopped apple) and an Awake Tea.

 

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I quickly got started on my Passover ‘baking’.  Last year was the first year that I attempted to make some Kosher for Passover goodies that didn’t come out of a box.  It was a challenge baking without flour, yeast, etc, but I found some new recipes to add to my book.  This year, I searched for even more recipes.  Since I was in charge of dessert for tonight’s seder at my parents, I had a lot of kitchen time ahead of me.  I started the simplest recipe, a Date and Almond Truffle that I found in Cooking Light.

 

I bought dates and blanched slivered almonds from the bulk bins at Whole Foods.  I put all the ingredients in my 7 cup food processor and pulsed for about 30 seconds.

 

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I scrapped the sides and pulsed for another minute before everything started to mix well and form a thicker mixture.

 

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I formed the dough into balls and rolled them into the coconut.  I decided to try toast my coconut, but left it in for too long.  The color was a little darker, but it still tasted good.  As someone who doesn’t love coconut, I was surprised at how good it tasted…it reminded me of Samoa girl scout cookies.  Yum!  These are so good that I will definitely make them again!  And I won’t be waiting until next Passover.

 

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I finished my first of many desserts and I am off to the gym.  With two weeks before my cruise, I have a session scheduled with my trainer (she’ll be happy that I have some homemade treats to share).  Then it is back to the kitchen for some Fudge Cake and Macaroon Fruit Compote. 

 

Stay tuned for more Passover recipes to come…