Another Wedding!

Okay, so I didn’t wake up Friday feeling PERFECT, but after a hot shower and a bunch of meds, I was able to make it to the gym for a much needed strength workout.  The rest of Friday flew by as my mom and I ate lunch, got our nails done, and then grabbed coffee…where I ruined my nails and then returned to have them fixed.


Although I wanted to spend Friday night like this…


I bucked up and the BOY and I enjoyed the start of his sister’s wedding weekend with the rehearsal and then dinner.  We called it an early night and appreciated a good night’s sleep.


Saturday morning, we woke up to sunshine.  I went for a quick 30 minute jog to boost my immune system.  It was pretty pathetic but amazing to be outside in the sunshine.


Saturday started with coffee and quickly progressed to mimosas, hair, makeup, adorable robes, pictures, and eventually a wedding!!!







The BOY and his sister…


She is a beautiful bride!  The wedding was tons of fun and not surprisingly, we spent the entire night on the dance floor with our new friends!


As you may have noticed, we’ve had many weddings over the last few years.  My brother and SIL in 2014, ours in 2015, and now the BOY’s sister.  Our family is just continuing to grow and expand.  This weekend, we added a brother in law!


After brunch this morning, we stopped by the Minute Clinic to pick up meds for the BOY (no he didn’t want to walk again…ha ha!) because he has an ear infection.  We spent our day resting (this included a 2 hour nap) and relaxing thinking thoughts of wellness.  Perhaps, we had a little too much fun last night.  Nah…there’s no such thing!!!


Cheers to the new Mr and Mrs!!!


The Year of Letters

Two big events marked this year for me and both involve adding some extra letters to my signature!


First off…I took my pediatric specialization exam in March and found out in June that I passed, adding the letters PCS behind PT to my professional title.

And then…I became a MRS!!!  Although I haven’t officially changed my name (it’s coming after the honeymoon), that will change two other letters in my last name.  It’s like I’m an entirely new person.  Well…sort of!


A mix of these external name changes and a year dedicated towards taking care of my mental and physical health has made this year remarkable!  I am grateful for every moment!

2015 Bucket List



Set and follow a budget (for real!)- Oh man!  I swear I am super organized, but have totally struggled with this!  We were all over the place with some months being better (or worse) than others.  Definitely something for the newlyweds to work on in 2016!

Pass my test– Woo hoo!  All of that library time paid off.  I am now a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS), which has me smiling from ear to ear!

Have a fun stress free wedding day– Done!  It was the most incredible and memorable day!  It was stress free and full of love and excitement. I swear my heart is still full of happiness from sharing this special day with the people who mean the most to us.

Stay healthy– Two big sinus infections took me down, but the second wasn’t nearly as bad as the first and other than that, I would say it was a nice and healthy year.



Do a triathlonThe decision has been made that this won’t be a big racing year…so no triathlon.  And I am A-okay with that!  I am broadening my horizons a bit with exercise and doing tons of yoga!  This decision is helping me feel more balanced and less stressed, and we’ll just have to see what 2016 holds for races and tri’s.

Feel confident in a bikini- I wore my bikini a few times this summer with more confidence than I have had in years!  As always, there is work to do, but feeling happy with myself on the beach was a HUGE accomplishment!

Continue to build muscle strength– I have definitely gotten stronger this year. I see it in my yoga class and at work, which is really important to me.

Keep my skin healthy– Success!  My focus on eating clean and drinking water, plus regular facials has paid off!



Be present– I have been soaking in every moment, big or small and have appreciated EVERY moment this year!  I feel so lucky and grateful!

Teach more yoga/take yoga trainings- I think this may end up being more of a 2016 goal. I’d love to do a yoga retreat AND my adult yoga certification.  I was able to talk about kids yoga on a Podcast, which is something I never would have even dreamed of in January. 

Read good books– Check!  I started the year as a reading machine, took a mid year break and then picked back up.  I’m also looking for suggestions…got any?

Give back and volunteer- Ugh! Major Fail here!  I have been donating food, money, and clothes, but not as much of my time as I would like.


Other Second Half Highlights

Acro Workshop

Thanksgiving in New York

Arlington Million

Door County



Tons of lunches and dinners with our friends!

Training for Tahiti


I’m almost afraid to share our exciting news because it doesn’t seem real, but the BOY and I booked our honeymoon in January to Tahiti!

I know…exciting, right?!  Ever since we met, we’ve talked about going to Tahiti, but I never thought it would actually happen.  But here we are 5 weeks away from a 10 day trip to paradise!


After talking to a bunch of people and enlisting the help of a travel expert, we booked our honeymoon to 3 islands including Bora Bora.  Like I said…it still sounds surreal!  In prep for the big trip, we have been hitting the gym with enthusiasm.

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Sometimes together and sometimes alone!  My routine has included A TON of yoga and strength training.


With plenty of early morning post work out selfies!  I’m usually a huge cardio queen, so it was funny when my trainer mentioned that I needed to up my cardio/running this winter.


I love to run!  But winter weather and later sun rises make it more difficulty this time of year.  Plus, this most recent sinus infection has made walking and light weights my only possible exercise.


Overall, my goal is to exercise 5x each week with a mix of cardio and strength in order to make me strong and confident sporting my bathing suit on the beaches of Tahiti!


A little throw back to our 2008 cruise

And I signed up for a spring 10k (and have my eye on a half marathon too) to keep me in good shape even after our trip.  The most fun part about this has been exercising with my husband.


Every Saturday morning, we have been at the gym at 7am sacrificing our usual Friday night fun for a good sweat session.  And we’ve been going to the park district gym one other morning together before work.  Tahiti should be pretty memorable, but I have to say so is the training!

Five for Friday XXVII

1. This morning’s ridiculous yoga look…


It might be worse than Wednesday’s : )

I have to say that I loved getting to 6am yoga 3 times this week.  What a treat!  My kids yoga class was supposed to start tomorrow, but we canceled due to weather. I do have plans to attend an acro workshop on Sunday.  Can’t wait!


2. Wednesday night as I pulled in the drive way, there was a skunk hanging out in front of my house. It was pacing back and forth between the garage door and front door (probably driving Cooper nuts).  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, so I hid in my car.  When it strolled off around the house, I opened my garage door and ran inside.  I tried to get a picture but my phone camera was too slow.


3. All my Instagram friends saw the excitement on the BOY’s face when Gus’s Fried Chicken opened last weekend.  We brought in chicken and sides (including my favorite fried pickles and sweet potato pie) to celebrate his and my brother’s birthdays in the city last Saturday.




4. Despite having a pantry full of tea, I found myself lost in the scents of Teavana this week.  I bought way more tea than I care to admit including the most delicious spiced apple cider tea.  Winter…I am ready for you!


5. I just got my professional wedding photos back and I am obsessed!  I love that our wedding party totally brought their personalities into the shots and the photographers captured all the joy and excitement of our reception.  WARNING: You may be seeing a TON of wedding pics in the weeks to come!





Consider yourself warned…LOL! 

Happy Friday!


After the absolute excitement and craziness of a wedding, there was only one place we wanted to be…


Door County, Wisconsin!

We drove up Friday afternoon and after a quick stop at a winery for a tasting, checked into our adorable room complete with a kitchen and fireplace.  We didn’t stay long before heading further up north for Friday night fish fry.  Not surprisingly, there was a wait, so we found a comfortable spot on a bench at the bar across the street, Wisconsin beer in hand.  There is no place more relaxing than DC!


Even though the weather was raining on and off, we had the most wonderful 4 days.  We caught some gorgeous fall colors and ate ourselves silly with all the delicious food.  We hiked through Peninsula State Park and walked through Cave Point and Newport State Park.






The waves on the Lake Michigan coast were intense!  And we built our first rock structure along the shore.

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We sampled cheese, bread, wine, and Island Orchard Hard Cider

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We drank coffee, hot chocolate, and tea and ate pie, cookies, donuts, and fudge.  We visited our favorite pizza place (twice)!


We visited old favorites and discovered some amazing new places (ie farm fresh meats and fresh picked apples).  And when the rain came pouring down, we gathered around the fireplace to play games and drink champagne.


I shopped the markets and stores and had two peaceful morning runs through the state park.



It was the perfect long weekend of rest and play…


For my new husband and I!


Five for Friday XXXV

1. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve done a Friday post (although this last Cooper edition is pretty cute).  In fact, I’m sorry I’ve been a not-so-good blogger in general lately.



2.  It’s Friday and that makes me VERY happy!  Especially this particular Friday because the BOY and I are leaving for our mini moon in Door County after this morning’s joint gym session.


3. I’m super excited to welcome pumpkin season!  Have you had your PSL or Pumpkin Blizzard yet?


Even better, the BOY’s homemade pumpkin ice cream!  He nailed it on the first try!



4.  Exciting news…we booked our January honeymoon.  Can’t wait to share all the details!


5. I only have one sneak peak photo from our photographer and I am obsessed.  A HUGE thank you to the incredibly talented woman who created my look, Jaycie, and our fun, and amazing photographer, Gisselle!



What’s going on with you guys this Friday?

What We’ve Been Up To This Week

Thank you to my friends, family, and readers for your patience, support, and encouragement during these last 15 months.  Our engagement time was incredible and it was so fun to share our wedding excitement with you!


The BOY (a few of you asked if I was changing his blog title…I considered the MR. or HUBBY, but I think I’m going to keep it the BOY) and I spent last Monday doing a whole lot of nothing.  It was a pizza and PJ’s kind of day combined with the Lifetime 90210 movie and of course Cooper cuddles.


We did drag ourselves out of the house for one last family dinner with my relatives in from NY and Florida.  It was so fun to spend the night hearing about their Chicago adventures and recapping the stories of the wedding once again.  It was so fun to have everyone in town and I was sad to see them go.

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The rest of the week whizzed by as we adjusted to being back at work.  I caught up on sleep…woo hoo!  I got our new bedding all set up (including the adorable blanket my patient’s mom knit for us). I binge watched UnREAL.  I put my crockpot to work and meal planned.  I didn’t do a whole lot of exercise or much of anything else.  My computer keyboard stopped working for a bit, which is why you haven’t heard from me much.


Saturday morning, the BOY and I got back into our workout routine with strength training at the gym.  We had a super fun Saturday hanging out with my family and celebrating my dad’s retirement while watching the Cubs vs Mets baseball game.


I partied way too hardy for my 34 year old body but had a blast drinking beer and playing darts at the bar until 2am.  I paid for it Sunday, but the BOY and I still managed to do our grocery store run and meal plan for the week.  I wasn’t able to find the chili recipe that I like for Buffalo Chili, but found a new one to try instead.


It turned out good, but  THIS is still one of my favorites!  I also baked up a delicious fall pumpkin bread while the BOY made pumpkin ice cream…Mmm!  I turned in early Sunday night to catch up on more sleep AND because I am working tomorrow.


I work Monday through Thursday and then Friday the BOY and I are going on a mini moon to Door County, Wisconsin.



What have you been doing?

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Chili

From The Skinny Fork

1 Lb. Ground Chicken Breast
1 Medium White Onion, Chopped
1 C. Celery, Chopped
1 C. Carrots, Chopped
1 C. Cauliflower Florets
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 C. Sodium Free Chicken Broth
1 14.5 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added), Undrained
1 15 Oz. Can Cannellini Beans, Drained & Rinsed
1/2 C. Hot Sauce (I used a chipotle flavor.)
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Paprika
1/2 Tsp. Ground Oregano
1/4 Tsp. Cayenne


Brown the chicken in as skillet.  Toss the cooked chicken and the rest of the ingredients together into a crock pot.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  Top with blue cheese, avocado, chips or whatever you like!