Breakfast, Lunch, and Bears


I revisited an old favorite…




Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa



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Then headed out for a strength session with the TRAINER.  It has been awhile since I’ve hit the weights so I was due for a good workout!



Since we don’t have a lot of options in the house (I didn’t do a lot of shopping because I will be gone again), I went with a mix of frozen rice, frozen veggies, and fresh shrimp.




It was tasty and filling!  I love when a good lunch comes together so easily.


‘Da Bears

Hitting the road and heading downtown for the game.  Don’t worry…I’ve got my tickets!



Home for 24 Hours

After a week, I have bid farewell to my puppy friends for about 24 hours at home before I am on to my next adventure.


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The BOY was happy to greet me at the door to discuss our plans for the day.  A gorgeous 60 degree Sunday with no Bears game left endless possibilities.  If you’re a frequent reader of the blog, then you won’t be surprised by our decision.  We made a quick stop at the farmer’s market, then on to Mariano’s, and home for an afternoon out back.


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I made us a colorful salad.





We cracked open some beers.  Check out the Midwest brew support!


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The BOY made himself a burger with this fresh pretzel bun and made me some grilled garlic chicken.




We set up out back for lunch al fresco, but after a few bites of food, the bees were swarming and we were pushed indoors to finish our lunch.




I can’t get over how warm and sunny it is today!  I’m so happy to be home and hanging out with the BOY.  But I am even more excited for tomorrow. 


Can you guess where I’ll be tomorrow night???




As soon as I knew that I wasn’t going to run the Chicago marathon this year, I was excited to go watch!  I have never been a spectator at Chicago’s biggest race before.  Last year, was my first time at the race and I was a runner.  I loved every minute and had a really positive experience…in huge part because of the crowd encouraging me through every mile.  And of course my amazing family!




I stayed downtown last night and was up early to meet a friend of mine at mile 5.  We decided to spectate by bike and as I pedaled my way towards the course, I saw the first wheelchair athletes emerging on the course.  I find these men and women to be so inspiring and was surprised to see how choked up I got cheering them on.  Shortly behind them came the leading elite athletes.  This was definitely a site that I didn’t get to see last year.  I had no idea that they were led by bikes and a pace car!


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I tried to snap a photo of the leaders, thinking that one of these guys would win the Chicago marathon, but they were WAY TOO FAST to be in focus!




Man, those guys are speedy!


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Mile 5 near Lincoln Park was beautiful with the colorful leaves and full of energetic runners and cheerleaders! 




It was a bit challenging making my way through the closed roads and crowded sidewalk by bike, but I found the perfect little nook to cheer on the runners.






I was able to see one of my friends sprint by looking strong and enthusiastic.  One of my favorite things about the Chicago marathon is all of the neighborhoods that you run through.  Our next stop was Broadway near mile 9.  It took a little research to figure out the best way to get there, but we made it.  The weather was chilly and perfect for running. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little jealous after last year’s 80 degree marathon heat wave!  Once we arrived at our next location, I was ready for a coffee break.  We went into Starbucks where I ordered a pumpkin latte (yum!) and admired the smart people watching the race from indoors.




However, that didn’t work for us because we had this AWESOME two-sided sign, noise makers, high fives, and cheers for the runners, so we needed to be on the front line!




We saw a few different friends go by and got a lot of smiles and shouts from the runners.  I cheered extra loud for all of the St. Jude Heroes, along with all of the other charity runners.  This is also where I saw some of the best Tshirts of the day!  It was so fun and incredible to be a part of the race!


Favorite Tshirt List

I just wanna beat Oprah’s time

Because 26.3 would just be silly

It’s not sweat…it’s liquid AWESOME!

I Heart Dexter


Our next stop was downtown.  We happened to hit an early marathon race street post runners before it opened to cars and soared into the loop.  It was amazing to ride through the heart of the city like this.  Along with some other bikers, we took a few detours as we discovered which roads were closed (some for the race and others for construction) and arrived at the perfect location, about 1/2 mile before the finish with enough time to meet friends, share our sign, pass out noisemakers and watch the runners, including our friend, proudly finish their 26.2 mile journey.




Throughout the day, the music was blasting and the energy in the city was contagious!  There were parts of me that really wanted to be out there running (who wouldn’t on this perfect fall day), but I had so much fun participating from the sidelines. 




I was sad to finally make my way to Union Station to catch the train back home to the suburbs.  But I wanted to be home on the couch for the 3:05pm Bear’s game.  The BOY picked me up at the train station and my voice was hoarse as I relayed all of the day’s stories and excitement.  We made a quick stop at the store to pick up the fixin’s for chili.  We went off recipe creating a Red Chicken Chili to be enjoyed after the Bear’s Victory!




What an AWESOME Chicago Day!



2011 Chicago Marathon Posts

Chicago Marathon Expo

My Marathon

Post Marathon Treats

Marathon Wordless Wednesday



Next year…I’ll be back!



Were you a runner or cheerleader today?

What is the best race Tshirt that you’ve seen?


Signs of Fall

It is officially fall and all the signs are present. 


Since fall is my favorite season, I am more than happy to say goodbye to flip flops and air conditioning and welcome in the brisk weather and cute fall boots!  Not to mention all the hearty recipes!




The leaves are changing







Pumpkin beer is a plenty (I think the Pumking is my favorite!)


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And I have dusted off the crockpot for its first meal of the season…

Two-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken!




I used a smoky salsa (Mrs. Renfro’s is my favorite) to make this easy and flavorful dinner last night.  And then had leftovers for lunch today!



Unique Halloween candy is popping up






The Chicago Bears are playing




And I just can’t get my hands on enough veggies and fall squash at the farmer’s market




The blogs are abuzz with fresh fall recipes




The crockpot is back in action making Vegetarian Chili




The doors and windows are open, and I have a smile on my face!!!



What signs of fall have you seen?

What recipes are you most excited to make this season?



I’m definitely looking forward to making some old favorites…

CSA Soup (I’ve already made 1 batch this fall)

Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Bake Barley Casserole with Mushrooms and Squash

Root Vegetable Tagine

Sweet Potato Pie

Game Day

Da’ Bears!  I am dressed and ready for the game.  I’ve got my jersey on and Chicken Tortilla Soup in the crock pot.

As you might have noticed, I don’t have many original recipes.  I went looking for a healthy and low-sodium recipe one day and instead put a few ideas together to create this soup.  Luckily, I wrote it down and added it to my recipe book for the next time.  So here is my version of a healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Start by gathering ingredients.

Start by chopping 1 onion and 1 green pepper.  Saute with garlic until soft and fragrant 5-7 minutes.  Stir in chili powder (about 1 tablespoon).

Meanwhile, season 1 pound of chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Heat in pan over medium heat until both sides are cooked (about 5 minutes on each side) before placing the chicken in the crock pot sprayed with Pam.

Add ingredients to crock pot…

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Onion and pepper mixture

1 bag of steamed corn

1 can of low sodium diced tomatoes

1 can diced mild green chilis (can substitute spicier chilis per taste)

1 jar of salsa

Taco seasoning

Stir everything together and set per crock pot instructions.

Dinner will be ready in just a few hours.  I like to serve my soup with cheese, chips, and avocado.  Hopefully, we’ll be celebrating a BEARS victory.  Enjoy!


PS. I got so excited about my football game that I totally forgot to add…about an hour before the soup is done, shred the chicken with two forks, return to crock pot, and cook another hour or so!  Now you can enjoy!