You're It!

If it wasn't for Natasha over at Hello! Happiness it would have been very quiet over here. I've got a lot of things on my plate that I'm not quite ready to share...but when I am, I promise I will loop you all in.

Here are the rules for this little game:
**You must post the rules

**Post 11 Fun Facts about yourself
**Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you & then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
**Tag 11 people and link them in your post
**Let them know you have tagged them

1. What is your profession? Currently I am a sales manager/team lead for a large media company. My team sells advertising and media packages, and I manage them. BUT, I went to school to be a teacher….and I didn’t love that….and well, let’s just say I don’t like staying in one place for too long, so you never know when a change will occur.

2. How would you describe your style? I would say preppy, conservative, with a splash of trendy. I have been trying to find quality pieces and look and feel good. I splurge on good jeans, shoes, and good coats. I’m trying to slowly build a classic closet with pieces that will last for years – My mom always tells me, “cry once”….but it is hard to fork over +$200 on a blouse!

3. What one make-up product can you not live without? Probably Vaseline. My lips get super chapped and I crave Vaseline for it. Everything else I could probably live without.

4. If you could be besties with one celebrity, who would it be? Hilary Duff. She seems really down to earth, fun, and normal. She is right about my age and seems to have her head on straight. I’m not a big party gal, but I feel like she would be a good person to drink wine with chat.

5. What is your dream vacation? I’ve never been on a honeymoon, obviously¸ and right now, that is my dream vacation. Being somewhere tropical (like the 4 Seasons in Hawaii) , with nothing to do but relax, enjoy, and spend time with your new husband sounds pretty dreamy!

6. What magazines do you subscribe to? Southern Living and US Weekly.

7. If you could have a special talent {that you don't currently have}, what would it be? Hmm, that’s tough. I guess, I wish I was a very special chef. Who was creative and inventive in the kitchen. Where I could cook up yummy, healthy things, all the time with no effort spent.

8. What is your favorite breakfast food? Honestly, sometimes I go to sleep thinking of 2 fried eggs on an English muffin with cream cheese. But, my dad makes mean Swedish pancakes that I could have each and every day.

9. If you could do anything, what is your dream job? Great question. If I knew, I’d be going after it – I can assure you of that. But I really don’t know my dream job. I want a job that keeps me busy, has a lot of flexibility, maybe only consists of working 20 hours a week, and also pays over 100k….Let me know if you find that job.

10. What is your guilty pleasure? For sure reality tv. And for sure wine.

11. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received, and who gave it to you? A saying my Mom lives by, and I need to as well, “To whom much is given; much is required”

And here are my 11 girls that I'm tagging! And yes - the questions are staying the same!!
Kayln at A Life Full of Laughter
Hannah at A Big Little Life
Laur at Head Over Heels
Sunkissed and Southern
Interior Groupie
Brittney at Delta Daises
Cara at City Girl Chicago

Ahhh there's more, but I'm late to a meeting! Sorry ladies! XO


Come On In

To my dream house.

Where, on my dream day, I'm sipping a starbucks in my luxurious closet, picking out the clothes I'm going to put on after I dip into the pool. I will run errands in my new Range Rover, then watch some RHONY in the cozy basement well my chef cooks up a healthy, arugula salad.

I'll play with my cute, calm tots, read some books, put dinner on the table, open a bottle of wine....get a massage, and dive into that yummy bed.

Why, oh WHY am I sitting in a cubicle right now??


friday's thoughts

Happy freaking Friday!

I love the feeling of waking up on Friday…I always jump out of bed with an extra pep in my step.

This week was a bit of a free for all. Some good bits, some bad bits, all thrown in with the chaos of work.
Here were a few of the outfits I wore.

What do you think of the stripes and polka dots? Crazzy right?

We don’t have too much on the board for this weekend. Joel is running another half marathon tomorrow. It’s at 10am, so I’ll pick up some Starbucks and wait for him in the warming tent. The nice thing about being in the audience is that its incredibly motivating. Watching all different shapes and sizes cross the finish line makes you feel like YOU should be out there. And, I guess on April 1st, I will be.

After Joel dominates, we are going to head to my parents house in Crystal Lake. We haven’t seen them since Mexico and I need a little fill. Especially of my cute pup.

We’ll probably have dinner, drink some wine, get in a walk, and head back into the city early afternoon on Sunday. Just in time to hit the grocery store and cook a yummy dinner.

I’ve been really slacking on the domestic housegirlfriend role of having a healthy dinner on the table for dinner.

Next week I’m aiming to put something good on the table 3 nights….which means I’m off to Pintrest.

Have a fabulous weekend!



I’m not very good at dealing with stress. I have anxiety and when it’s really bad, and I’m anxious for weeks and weeks, it ends up rearing its ugly head physically, as well as mentally. Mainly in the form of bad stomachaches.
Since the new year, I have had a lot of anxiety for one reason or another, and I’m finally at my boiling point. I haven’t been treating my mind or my body well – since sometimes with my anxiety, I feel like a glass(es) of wine and a dinner out is the only way to deal.

I took a yoga class yesterday and it was the first time in 4 weeks that I’ve felt truly relaxed and at peace.

I told myself in that yoga class, what I need is just a 4 day getaway at a wellness resort where I could do yoga outside, go for runs, and eat small, healthful meals. Ideally this resort would be located in Scottsdale, or somewhere warm.

Doesn't that sound lovely?

Since I can’t exactly head out to Arizona, I have to start living my life like my wellness resort is my apartment. Or my cubicle.

These are just my thoughts for today...


Scoozi! Review

It’s never a good idea to eat at a restaurant on a Monday night. Especially when that restaurant is fully paid for by someone else.

It just encourages eating and drinking too much.

But, it’s our side job, and somebody has to do it ;)

Last night’s secret rater dinner was at Scoozi! In River North. It’s an Italian restaurant with the feel of dining in an old warehouse. It’s wide open and big with a wood burning oven in the back. The ambiance is good – if not a little on the family friendly side…which is both good and bad.

I got to the restaurant about 30 minutes before Joel so I parked myself up at the bar and ordered my new favorite drink. A French martini with a shot of prosecco. So freaking good.

 By the time Joel and I sat down we were both hangry.

Never a good thing to be at an Italian restaurant.

They started us off with bread and some olive oil, and we put in an order for a flat pizza.

We went with the mushroom, arugula, truffle.

This was my favorite thing we ate. Highly recommend it.
For dinner I ordered their mushroom risotto special, which was fine. They added pea’s into the dish which I found unnecessary - but the hint of truffle oil kept me coming back for more.

Joel ordered this pasta dish, which I forget the name of. The noodles were lightly fried, which I did not like….crunchy pasta is not something that I find desirable.

Since we were eating for free, we decided we may as well order some dang dessert. We went with the chocolate cake. Whoa, was it rich. We each had about 3 big bites and called it a night.

Overall the food, and the ambiance are just…ok. I wouldn’t run here, but I don’t think anyone will leave unhappy.

For all of the food, and a glass of wine for us both, the bill came to $80. I’d give Scoozi! a 2.5 out 5. I think you could find a better Italian spot in the neighborhood.


Weekend review: Instafied

First of all….thank you for all of your sweet comments on my Friday catastrophe.

My day did get a lot better after about 10am. When I got into work, I told my co-worker about my phone and she told me to head down to the office gym and blow dry my phone. I let it sit for a few hours and by 1pm the phone was back to normal!

At lunch, I snuck in a 5 mile run and I think that’s what officially cleared my head and got me out of my negative nancy mindframe.

That night Chicago got hit with about 6 inches of snow which made the commute home pretty hellish for a lot of people. Claire, Sara, and I were thinking about trying out a new restaurant that night, but since the weather sucked we decided to go to our neighborhood favorite, Twist. We had a pitcher of sangria and shared lots of yummy small plates (think, lobster ravioli, bacon wrapped dates, and fish tacos). We were home before 9 and I was asleep soon thereafter.

Saturday morning I drove this crazy person to his Polar Dash ½ marathon. I didn’t stay to watch him dominate the race, but he placed 18th overall and 3rd in his age group. Clearly – we don’t run together.

Saturday night Joel and I ordered in a pizza and watched Friends With Benefits. We haven’t had a Saturday night where we just stayed in and vegged out, and it was so nice.

Sunday morning I woke up and beautified a bit. I got a manicure: Essie's Power Clutch.

A pedicure: Lincoln Park After Dark

And a brow wax at Benefit.

We met up with Hannah and Tyler at Fish Bar for lunch which was such a fun way to cap off our weekend. We always have such a great time with them, I’m always sad when our double dates are over.

Especially when they end with a bang....like roasting marshmellows

This week is pretty jam packed, but my #1 goal is to stay positive and happy. It’s been a struggle lately – I think because it’s January in Chicago – but I’m determined to stay on the right side of the bed all week long.

Have a great week everyone!


Straight up

This morning has freaking sucked.

I know, TGIF and all, but, no.....nothing about this Friday has been joyous or fun.

To begin, I slept awfully. Mainly because, to be "straight up" Joel was out for a work event last night and I woke up at 11:30, freaking out that he wasn't home yet. I called him, he answered, told me he would be home in an hour, and I was awake until he got home.

Then, when I woke up - my hair was beyond control. I sleep with a face mask at night and while it does help me sleep, it makes my hair absolutely crazy.Straight up.

I finally surrendered to a ponytail, got ready to head out of work, and decided to use the washroom right before leaving.

My phone was in my back pocket.

You probably know how this ends.

My phone's broken. Straight up.

Then - to add insult to injury, I picked up bagels for my team. I bought one of these box's.

As I got off the train downtown and was walking up the stairs, the weak cardboard handle came off the freaking box.

You probably know how this ends.

Bagels everywhere.

There will probably be a lot of happy homeless people today.

I'm not ending this post on happy note. Sorry, I just want to sit and whine.



I am loving Francesca’s.

It’s a great boutique, with affordable trendy pieces. I find it to be much better quality than Forever 21 or H&M. The typical blouse is about $38, while dresses run $44-$64. The last few pieces I’ve picked up from Francesca’s I’ve loved, and whenever I wear them I get lots of compliments – so I think it’s win win.

I am loving that tonight is book club! We are discussing all three books of The Hunger Games. If you haven’t read, I’ve been obsessed with them. I can’t wait to talk with everyone about what they thought, where they were surprised, what certain things meant, etc.

I am loving that I was able to use my last 2 cans of pumpkin to bake some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to bring over to book club. I used this easy recipe here.

I am loving training for my half marathon. It’s really fun to put a big, fat X on my schedule after I’ve completed a workout. I literally think to myself on the treadmill, “just 5 more minutes, and you get to cross this off”. I was clearly a very well trained student.

I am loving that I joined the runner’s club here at work. It’s really motivating to run with a big group of co-workers, and it’s so nice to get outside of the office and run along the lake. Today’s high is like 18 degrees, but I think it will be fun to run in the cold with a big group of people. We are going to do 3 miles today, but since my schedule calls for 3.5 miles, I’m going to run a fast ½ mile on the treadmill when we get back.

I am loving that my parents are finally back from Mexico. I’ve missed talking to my mom after work.

I am loving the opportunities that have been presenting themselves to Joel and I lately.

I am loving Dentyne Pure. It’s gum and mouthwash mixed into 1. Doesn’t sound great, but it actually is. It’s like normal dentyne, but when you chew the first bite, you get a little squirt of mouth wash. ….. I’m not making this sound good…..but it really freshens your breath and does taste good…I promise.

I am loving that it’s Wednesday. We are almost there!


Paris Club Review

Last night Joel and I went on our second adventure as secret diners. We went to Paris Club in Chicago, which we’ve both been to before a handful of times.

It’s a trendy new restaurant in Chicago – French small plates are their specialty, but I really like the interior and vibe of the restaurant, so I was excited to visit as a rater.

We got to the restaurant before our reservation and were able to order a round of drinks at the bar.

I ordered the French martini – which was only fitting – with an extra shot of Prosecco. This is my drink of choice as of late and let's just say this martini earned high marks.

You do have to review the bathrooms at the restaurants, which I appreciate – because, who likes to use a dirty bathroom, but Paris Club’s bathroom was so clean you could eat your dinner in there.

Once we sat down, we had to rate everything with a fine tooth comb. Our review is typically 7-10 pages in length. I don’t want to bore you with the minor details, but one area that I did have to knock off points was when the waitress arrived to welcome us.

We could smell her before she opened her mouth.

The girl had taken a bath in perfume.

And, when you are eating food – that can be really, really distracting.

Other than that, she was fabulous and I’m very aware that these secret diners can be responsible for staff losing their jobs, so we are as forgiving as possible - as that is SO not my intention while completing these reviews. Our focus is on the food.

The restaurant was really empty on a Monday night, so we got great seats and were able to have a little privacy too.

We started with 2 small plates – per our requirements.

We’ve both enjoyed the drippings on toast before, so we went for another round of that. High Marks!

The Duck Cracklings were a different story. They tasted like salt and vinegar chips but were way too fried and not worth the calories.

For dinner I had amazing Nantucket scallops and Joel had the skate. Both were cooked to perfection and thoroughly enjoyed.

My favorite dessert is their pistachio pudding, which comes with a heath bar like crunch on top. We had to order it – and it did not disappoint.

Overall it was a great experience and if you ever find yourself in Chicago – I’d be sure to put it on your list. For everything we ordered, drinks included – our total was $120 dollars for 2.


well, hello there beautiful!

I wish I could say that I'm one of the lucky few whose company is taking a day off to respect MLK, but, alas - I'm here at work.

Luckily, I had a long weekend so I don't feel too upset.

Friday morning my cousin Cole came in on the red eye from Los Angeles. He came in at 8am, so I decided to take the day off of work so that I could get him into my apartment and guide him around the city. Him and his fiance are getting married here in Chicago, and they had set up about 10 meetings to meet with potential bands, venues, and photographers.

I let Cole sleep in, and while he did I got a manicure and popped into Francesca's to pick up this darling dress.

It was so nice catching up with Cole and after his meetings Joel and I took him to our favorite sushi restaurant in all of Chicago, Ukai, and then to a board game bar called Guthries. We played about 20 rounds of Connect Four and I lost every single time.

On Saturday, while Cole and Brianna went to more meetings, I indulged in my Christmas present from Joel. A day at the spa. I went to Spa Soak, and had the most lovely experience. But, I mean, really - aren't all spa day's pretty freaking lovely?

For dinner we met up with all of our cousins at Enotoca Roma, in Wicker Park. Since there was a big group of us, they serves us the Mangia, Mangia which is 7 courses of deliciousness. We spent 5 hours at the table laughing and catching up.

I am one of the lucky ones who got blessed by having the coolest family ever - and both sides too. I just feel so fortunate to have these friends that love me unconditionally, no matter what I do.

On Sunday, I joined them to check out The Glessner House in the South Loop - which was a really good spot - if you ever are looking for places to get married in Chicago. You are in the center (well, south of it, but, close) of the city, and can get married in a park, and then have your reception in the back yard of a historic mansion.

When they left, I spent the afternoon NOT watching the Grammys. I had every intention too, but I literally couldn't do anything until I finished the 3rd book of The Hunger Games.

And it was worth it.

If you haven't read this trilogy yet - you must. It's one of the best books I've read in my entire life.

And, now, here we are, Monday morning - ready to start a new week.