Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 35/36

{via Pinterest}

I'm alive! I've had a terribly busy two weeks getting settled into my new job and trying to recover from a nasty virus. I finally feel like I'm on the mend. Most of my evenings have been spent in my pajamas going to bed early and trying to catch up on rest.

Things I'm thankful for this week:

  • Kind CTA bus drivers that make my morning/evening commute pleasant. Never underestimate a "good morning" and a "have a great evening" greeting. In a city where people barely make eye contact, it really is a sweet gesture.

  • Hilarious CTA bus drivers that comment on the overcrowded and delayed buses, encouraging consumers to make complaints. It really does make me laugh.

  • Seeing 'The Help' in the company of girlfriends and having meaningful conversations about the emotions and feelings that the film {and the book} prompts.

  • Dinner with friends, sharing and learning more about ourselves and our friends. I'm so grateful for the community that we've been building over our years in this City.

  • New Essie polish in 'Sew Psyched': it's the perfect autumn hue.

  • A new job where I feel challenged, rewarded, and so very hopeful for the future.

Happy Weekend!



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Running Fever

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've got a new running buddy. We run together twice a week along the lakeshore. It's so much fun! As with any workout {or sport, I suppose}, it's essential to have good gear. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that style succumbs to practicality.

Earlier this year I purchased an amazing new running bra that literally changed my life {I will post about this later}. Since then, I haven't replaced any of my workout gear. First on the list is a new pair of running shoes. I've been on the hunt for a new pair of kicks {mine look awfully similar to these}. They're nearly three years old, so I'm due for a new pair but I just haven't gotten around to buying them.

This Saturday, AKIN is hosting a launch party for NIKE's new Chicago LunarGlide+ 3. {Hubby has a pair of the LunarGlide+ 2, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit envious of them.}

I'm excited to see what stylish running clothes they feature and to check out these sweet running shoes! If you're a local Chicagoan, and you like to run {or work out}, consider checking it out. I'll be there!



Disclosure: In exchange for sharing this invitation, I will be getting a pair of these sweet new sneaks to replace my awfully old pair. See ya later, old lady shoes!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 33/34

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind! I had my last day at my job last Friday, and was off this entire week to have a break in-between jobs. It has been such a great week.

I'm so grateful to all of my former co-workers for making me feel special and celebrating this new opportunity in my life. I'm so thankful for the relationships and friendships that I built over the last four years.

I'm thankful for the time that I had this week to rest before stating my new job.

I'm thankful for Hubby for making it possible to spend some money on getting new clothes. It was so fun being able to shop {thrifteditems and new items!}.

I'm grateful that I got the two items that I wanted from the Missoni for Target line {Missoni madness ... okay, that was insane}, and avoided the drama.

I'm thankful for quality time with my sister in Grand Rapids. She hooked me up with a massage, facial, and new hair color/cut. It was so fun! And ... she let me drag her to the thrift stores ...

I'm thankful for a new workout buddy {B - are you reading this? The quote above is for you!}. Running is so much better with a friend.

My baby sister turned 20 this week! I'm so grateful for her life and friendship.

I'm thankful for the cool weather and am so excited for autumn!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

Over the weekend, our neighborhood hosted Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. Artists had tents with various types of art: photography, printmaking, mixed media, ceramics, clay, collage, glass, sculpture, and so much more! It was so fun to stroll through the booths seeing different styles and perspectives from each artist. I snapped a few photos of my favorite things from the festival.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inspired Tuesday: I carry your heart

One of my favorite poems {printed on our wedding program 5 years ago} is by E.E. Cummings. I found this necklace on Etsy the other day and I've added it to my list of things that I want to purchase. So simple, pretty, and very meaningful to me {and Hubby too, of course}.

i carry your heart with me {i carry it in my heart}

i am never without it {anywhere i go you go, my dear;

and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling}

i fear no fate {for you are my fate, my sweet}

i want no world {for beautiful you are my world, my true}

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

{here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide}

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart {i carry it in my heart}

-e.e. cummings

here's to an inspired memory: an adorable little necklace reminding me of my sweet love.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Foodie Monday: Chipotle

It's no secret that I love food. I love different types of restaurants (authentic family-owned places, michelin rated places, and diner food). I also love easy, convenient, and fast food. I also try to make healthy choices, and eat from socially/ethically responsible companies.

Chipotle is a place that I rely on for quick meals when I'm trekking to/from the office or meetings. My food is consistently good, the service is quality, and I can track what I'm eating because everything is portioned for me when they serve it.

I fell in love with Chipotle all over again after seeing this little film.



Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Inspired Tuesday: Make No Little Plans

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big. -Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)

I love this little video, and it features so many of my favorite places around the city. The quote by Daniel Burnham is featured throughout the video, and is an inspiration to me. I love the idea of thinking big, planning big, and dreaming big for all of the things that I want to accomplish in life.



Friday, September 02, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 32/33 Editions

{via Pinterest}

When I first joined the Weekly Gratitude movement {post here}, I wanted to carve out a time to reflect on the things that happened during the week. Week after week, the little things start to add up.  Slowly {but surely} the good outweighs the bad. Every. Time.

  • Thank you Hubby for your patience. I know sometimes I am difficult to live with {I leave my wet towels on the bed and I know it's annoying}. I'm so grateful for your love.

  • Thank you Betsy for the letter in the mail this week. It's so fun to be pen-pals in this age of digital communication.

  • Thank you Pandora for the free music. I've loved you for so long and sometimes I take you for granted.

  • Thank you Lennon for being the best cuddle buddy, ever.

  • Thank you sunshine for sticking around!

I'm looking forward to this weekend filled with visits from friends & family! Happy Labor Day, everyone!



Thursday, September 01, 2011

First of September

I love wearing this white button down. It's great to layer with in the colder months, and it's still light enough to wear during the summer with the sleeves rolled. Tucked into a basic linen pant, I'm good to go. Even though it was nearly 90 degrees today, I was still pretty comfortable.

I'm loving this 1154 LILL bag from booty I scored at the Chicago Blogger Meetup a few weeks ago. It's the PERFECT work bag for me. It's large enough to fit the basics, but still comfortable on my shoulder.

Happy September!



Milk Chocolate Bundt Cake

I love sweets. This is a bit of a problem, especially since I'm working my tush off with Ms. Jillian Michaels. I figure I need to splurge once in a while {right?!}.

I chose this recipe primarily to use up an embarrassing amount of milk chocolate that has collected in the kitchen pantry. I used this easy recipe, and I had all of the ingredients on hand. Sadly, I didn't think to take photographs until the final product was finished.


  • 7 ounces milk chocolate

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

  • In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

  • Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan {bundt cake pan}.

  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

  • Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

  • Remove from pan and cool completely.

  • Note: Instead of dusting with confectioners' sugar, I melted a bit more chocolate and drizzled on top of the cake.