Monday, October 31, 2011

Instagram Photos

Here are a few more photos from Chi Marathon weekend that I discovered on my phone:

1) Me and Dad at Nike's Own Chicago display

2) Dad's name on the Nike board {they listed all of the registered runners!}

3) Dad representing #8 for his 8th marathon

4) Me sitting in the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle {eek!}

5) Just look at that face! I'm in love.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

It's been a few weeks since I've posted my "Weekly Gratitude" list. Honestly, it's been really hard to find time to blog. I barely get on my Bloglovin' these days.

This time of year, it's easy to be thankful for things like the weather and the warm color palette that fills the City with orange, brown, and yellow. Even the rainy days become excuses for baking goodies. I find myself slowing down my walking pace, if only slightly, to smell the leaves. Is that weird? I'm okay with that.

These are the things that I'm grateful for:

  • Running with my dad: he's such an encouragement. He's always giving me tips on how to run, stretch, and is really helping me feel confident in running.

  • Family visits: Hubby's parents visited this past weekend {they live in Michigan}. We explored the City together, and made some really fun memories together.

  • My job: I'm always on the go! I feel like I'm constantly learning something new, and it's just so fascinating to be working in the medical setting.

  • My pedometer: I've started wearing a pedometer (go ahead, judge me!). I started wearing it to see how much I'm actually walking around the hospital, but now I've turned it into a little competition with myself to see how many steps I take during the day. It's really fun!

  • Friends: A telephone date with one of my oldest friends always makes me feel loved. I'm so grateful for friends who love me and who really want to know me and be a part of my life.

  • Financial motivation: Hubby and I have been kicking butt on our budget lately. We're right on track to accomplishing some of our financial goals (more on that later), and it feels AWESOME.

  • Letter from a friend: Betsy and I have been writing back and forth instead of talking on the phone and emailing. Handwritten letters are the best.

  • A new iPhone cover that I scored 30% off plus free shipping. It's so pretty.

  • Running dates with B -- again, running with friends is just so much better than solo runs. We signed up for the Grant Park 5K Turkey Trot at the end of November. Gobble, gobble!



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspired Tuesday: Tunes

One of my favorite things about Pandora is the discovery of new artists that possess similarities to each other.  Music has always evoked such emotion: be it through a complex harmonies and rhythm, or lyrics. Hubby and I had a recent conversation about my connection to certain artists and genres {most of which he labels "sad" music}, and I realized it's just always been my way to connect with myself and with my emotions. I could go on, and on, and on about my favorite movements but I won't bore you.

Most mornings, I start my day with Pandora on my commute and am constantly pausing the songs to scribble down the name of new artists. Sometimes I share my favorite tune of the morning {as tweeted above}. Here are a few little videos of two of my current loves {not new loves, just favorite loves!}.




Monday, October 24, 2011

A tourist in the City

This past weekend, my husband's parents came to visit for the weekend. Chicago Public Library has a 'Museum Pass' program that allows you to check out a museum pass {that admits up to 4 people} for FREE admission to the local museums. We opted for the Planetarium, and spent half of a day perusing the Adler Planetarium: watching shows in 3-D and learning about the stars {something that has always fascinated me}. We walked from the museum campus along the lakefront through Grant Park and Millenium Park, then hopped a bus to take us to the Hancock building for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Being a tourist in the City was fun for the day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous - we couldn't have asked for better weather for mid-October.

Sunday, we went to one of our favorite neighborhoods {Andersonville} to explore the Swedish Museum, antique and local art shops, and have brunch at Ann Sather. Hello, sugar rush. Those cinnamon rolls are delicious! Here are some of my favorite snapshots from the weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011

So, last Sunday my dad finished his 8th marathon! We always watch the northern turn in Wrigleyville because it's literally just around the corner from the apartment. This year, we headed south to Pilsen to watch at a different location.Since Hubby was not able to run this year {and because he bought a seat}, I was able to run a little bit with my dad. I've been miserable for the last two weeks with a terrible cold, and was not able to run as long as I planned. It was so exciting to be out there to run with my dad and cheer on thousands of runners. It's such an incredible way to see this City come to life. Although it was terribly warm {for the runners}, it was a beautiful day to be a spectator. A blue, cloudless sky and some sunshine in October? No complaints here.

Can I just say how proud I am that he's my dad?! Seriously.  He's incredible.



PS: Hubby took most of these photos ... Just wanted to give him the cred.

PPS: I'm wearing my new favorite running shirt that I saw a few weeks back at the Nike event. I snagged it at the Marathon Expo.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Social Worker Style Diary

{blazer - anthropologie, blouse - bobeau via nordstrom, pants - michael MK, shoes - Tsubo, watch - MK, ring - jewelmint}

One thing that I'm learning about my new job is that wearing comfortable shoes is not a concept to be taken lightly. I seriously walk all over the hospital throughout the course of day. It's insane. I discovered this brand of shoes that I'm obsessed with: Tsubo. They're made so well, have great support, and I can last an entire day on my feet without sporting the clunky Dansko clog that literally everybody wears around the hospital.

I love being able to stand out from the sterile palette, but it's nearly impossible to wear necklaces because of my name badge/pager contraption. Instead I've been able to accessories with rings, scarves, and of course my favorite watch. I'm also in love with this blazer. It's so incredibly comfortable and the perfect hue for this season.



Monday, October 03, 2011

Foodie Monday: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

To kick off the month of October, I thought it would be fun to try out a new seasonal recipe using pumpkin {my fave}. I found a basic recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin cookies and tweaked it a little bit to make it my own. These cookies turned out absolutely amazing, and I'm going to be baking them on a regular basis throughout this season {sharing them with friends & family, of course}. They're a really substantial cookie, with almost a muffin-like consistency. Next time I'll shape them better knowing that they don't flatten out while they bake.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter {softened}

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 granulated sugar

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract {the good stuff}

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Cream butter and sugar, add pumpkin, incorporating well; add egg and vanilla {I love using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer}

  • Mix dry ingredients: flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda

  • Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, 1/4 of mixture at a time, make sure batter is mixed well

  • Fold in chocolate chips

  • Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray

  • Spoon mixture onto cookie sheets, bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden brown

  • Cool on wire racks

I hope you enjoy them! These are some of the most delicious cookies I've ever made. Is it just me, or do cookies instantly taste better when you've made them yourself?



Sunday, October 02, 2011

Chicago LunarGlide+ 3 Event

On Saturday, I attended the launch of the NIKE LunarGlide+ 3 event at AKIN. Who better to take with me than my dad {the 6x marathon runner himself}. He's running the Chicago Marathon next weekend, and I thought this would be right up his alley. I was correct!

We had fun perusing the merchandise - scoping out the new shoes and t-shirts designed by local Chicago artist Tara D, and noshing on the free food. I did not  snap a photo of my favorite t-shirt which said 'Run like El'. Get it? Run. Like. El. {I thought it was very clever. Haha}

Here are a few snapshots of the event {I only had my iPhone, so I apologize for the quality}.

{The CHI LunarGlide+ 3}

{Dad checking them out}

{I want them!}

{Tara D. working on some art}

{Dad complimenting Tara D. on her work ... haha!}

{Dad wanted to wear the helmet ... I discouraged it}

{In front of Tara D.'s mobile galleria ... such a cool truck!}

A HUGE thank you to Chicago Blogger Network and Kelly Ryan O'Brien for the invitation; and to AKIN and NIKE for hosting the event!! I seriously had a blast.



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