Tuesday's Top picks

Tuesday's Picks

1. By Invitation Only book
I'm about 100 pages in and it's a super easy, Hamptons-based, beach read. I ordered it off of Amazon for 2 bucks. Worth every penny.

2. Hershey's Bliss Chocolates
I just polished off 6 of these babies. Don't judge.

3. University of Iowa
Heading back to my college stomping ground this weekend and I couldn't be more excited!
3. King of Anything by Sara Barilles
I think I'm late to this song, but its such an empowering jam. The kind of song that wakes you up in the morning, or keeps your feet moving for that last push during a run.

4. Saks
The Chicago Saks is hosting an invite-only Fall Fashion event and I somehow landed myself on the guest list. Looking forward to the champagne and collection preview

5. Wine
'Nuff said.


Menu Monday

Can't believe I was able to fit this post in. It's been a good Monday!

Here's the menu for the week:
Sunday: Homemade pizza with ground turkey, black olive, green onion, and cheese
Monday: Salmon Tacos with lots of yummy fixings; cilantro, green onion, black olive, corn, avocado, and cheese
with a side of

Tuesday: Turkey burgers. Ground turkey and Salsa mixed together and then pan fried with olive oil
Wednesday: Spinach and cheese tortellini
Thursday: I'll be baking some goodies for our weekend away, but not sure what I'll do for dinner just yet. Most likely cookies.

This week screams that we are low on groceries. We are heading out of town for the weekend so I'm pushing the grocery trip until Sunday. Next week I want to get really creative recipes to try during the week.

Manic Monday

Temperatures are starting drop, and the fall clothes are beginning to appear

Her way:

My Way:

This is an Eci jacket from Nordstroms
Ralph Lauren jeans
Tb flats
f21 necklace


top picks

1. Sour patch watermelons
I'm literally obsessed. On my lunch hour today, I snuck across the street to Walgreens and "went for a walk". My "walk" included me downing a box of sour patch watermelons. Whoops!
*Do not refer to my post about making healthy choices. This was a large lapse in judgement

2. Leggings
Leggings are my go-to transition item. Leggings pair well with lots of my summer dresses and cute flats. Plus, I've been pairing them with long tunics which make for a perfect hot, fall day!

3. Fall TV


Menu Monday

This weekend we had friends staying with us from Friday until Sunday. Our small apartment was packed to the brim with friends, and I loved every second of it. However, we spent the entire weekend eating junk (3 pizza's in 2 days, hot dogs, cinnamon rolls, bagels, cookies, queso....you get the idea?) and drank our body weight in alcohol. Mix this with hitting the bed around 3am all weekend, it was like college all over again.

Now it's time to make up for all of those bad choices I made this weekend.


Sunday: Spaghetti Squash

Have you ever had this? It is amazing, I highly, highly recommend it. It's around 7 dollars for a medium/large squash and will serve 4 adults.

This is what it looks like.

1. Stick the squash in the microwave for around 6-8 minutes
2. Cute the squash right in half (it's going to be really hot. Let it cool for a few minutes or hold the sqush with a towel you don't mind getting dirty)
3. Remove the seeds and center goop of the squash. Just like what you do with a pumpkin
4. Then take your fork and fork the sides, you will produce noodle like spaghetti.

Treat as you would pasta. Add sauce, veggies, meat and voila!

Monday: Taco Salad/Garbage Salad
Base is salad and spinach. Then I throw in everything I can -- tomatos, onions, black olive, black bean, ground turkey, cheese, avacado, garbanzo beans, cheese, peppers, etc. Toss with a spicy salsa.

Tuesday: Goat Cheese Chicken

Wednesday: Work BBQ

Thursday: The Violet Hour
A visit to the COOLEST bar in Chicago. If you are ever in Chicago it is a must.


Going in to a new week....

After a crazy weekend, I'm taking my Sunday and preparing for the new week. I vow to have a good attitude and make good choices all the way until Friday...

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.


Wisdom Wednesday

“While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence — which, I believe, does make the woman."

my inspiration:



I'm lacking a little blog-spiration so I'm setting up some weekly traditions around here.

Monday - Menu/Food/Wine/Restaurants
Tuesday - Top picks for the week
Wednesday - Weekly wisdom

We're gonna start with that.

Tuesday's: Tess' favorites this week

1. Fall Candles
I have the same type of candle as below, but my flavor is "coffee". It's really subtle and cozy smelling.

2. Fresh Flowers
I hadn't realized how much I really like having fresh flowers in the house.

3. Fall decorations
Yes, I have already started! Joel is not happy. I really want to start to bring out the Halloween decorations but Joel literally forbid me, so we cut a deal and I will bring out the Halloween decorations on October 1st. Until then, however, I am allowed to deck things out in fall decorations, so, the craziness has begun.

I bought this wreath for $2.50 at Micheal's. The white, fuzzy buds were $1.29 and came in bundles, I ended up just sliding them into the wreath to add a little color. This wreath will be so easy to change up depending on the season and holiday. It's hanging on our front door now, and I'm happy with the results.

4. Tostito's with a hint of lime
I run home from work just to get my hands on these babies.

5. Quints by Suprise
Such a cute new show. I am NOT a fan of Kate Gosselin, so I'm loving this fresh new show on normal, nice people and their sweet little babies.
It's on TLC, I believe on Monday's.


A week in review

2nd week of work is behind me! Overall it was good week, I was very successful but did make a pretty major error on Friday. The good thing is, mistakes are expected your first week, bad thing is, mistakes give me anxiety, so hopefully it's a one and done kinda thing.

While I was busy makin' deals at work, I also had time to slip in an evening cubs game with Katie and Dan. The cubs are having a miserable season, but Wrigley Field is too cool to pass up, so the 4 of us, caught up, had a few beers, and enjoyed the scenery.

Yesterday was my big 10k! The weather did not coporate and poured down on us the entire time. I ran with my cousin Amanda and I was so happy to have her by my side the whole time. We hadn't ran together before the big race so I wasn't sure how we would run together, but we had a very similar pace and ended up finishing the 6.2 miles in 70 minutes. We never stopped and had an overall great run.

Wouldn't this be nice?


Your It

Happy Labor Day!

I spent the weekend at my parents house and it was filled with all of my favorite things. We shopped, walked along the lake, had a big Sunday night dinner (eggplant Parmesan and it was beyond deish), read magazines, and indulged in lots of twizzlers.

Now, I'm back in Chicago, ready to start my 2nd week of work, watching the Bachelor pad, and eating Cadbury eggs. Yes, I found them in my sister's desk from Easter, and they still taste amazing.

I was catching up with all of my favorite bloggers and saw that I was tagged by Mrs in Training. So, naturally, now "I'm it".

What is your favorite meal to cook for company?

I just moved into my own apartment and have yet to have a dinner party. We have had a lot of guests over for drinks, so I always like to serve up homemade guacamole and chips. I also, have a new obsession with baking cupcakes. Not the most normal pair but both seem to be crowd pleasers.

What's your favorite fashion accessory (i.e. shoes, handbags, earrings, scarves, etc.)?

Easy - Designer Handbags

Have you ever met an Internet/blogger friend in real life?


What's your favorite room in your house?

Let me show you! I just took these pictures a minute ago.

If you could go back to college (for fun), what would you study?

Interior design

What's one talent/skill you wish you possessed or were better at?

I wish I was more creative, I'd love to create things, make things, draw things, everything!

What's your favorite thing to give as a gift?

I love themed gifts.

When Joel started Grad School *which only lasted a year* I got him a new school bag, a map of his new city, umbrella, coffee mug, highlighters, pens, notebooks, and a few quick study things - like a map of the brain, how to deal with patients, etc.

For my BFF Claire's birthday, a month in advance I asked her to fill out this survey. I told her I had to do a research assignment on only children. I asked her a bunch of "What's your favorite_________" Then, for her birthday card, I printed out the survey that she took for me, and then she opened up her gift with all her favorite things! Favorite magazine, favorite color was in the form of a new blanket, favorite animal in the form of a stuffed animal, favorite gum, movie, book, CD, etc.

Sara turned 21 in Vegas so I did a whole Vegas themed thing. All of the gifts had a little tag on them, with a witty little saying. I can't really remember everything I got her but some included Hundred Grand bars, Dice, Stack of Cards, Lucky Charms, condoms ** It was Vegas! **

Have a great short work week! We're off to the cubs game tomorrow, which makes me feel like the weekend is just trucking onto Tuesday.



September is one of my most favorite months of the year. With September, I think you get to hit the refresh button on your life. More so, even than New Years, I feel like September is the true "beginning of the year".

What I'm loving about the next 30 days

1. Office supplies
I have a legit addiction to all things office supplies and I love having an endless supply of post-its waiting for me every morning

2. Football
I have a crush on college football. I like that it makes people crazy and brings strangers together because they share the bond of the same college team. **I like to honk and wave at cars that have hawkeye stickers, much to my passengers dismay.

This weekend, we are buying tickets to a bar ($25 dollars, all you can eat/drink) with some friends/fellow hawks and I'm SO excited.

3. Lung Run 10k
I'm not going to lie here. Mainly, I'm excited to get this done with. My 10k is next Sunday and I'm ready to rip my training schedule off my wall and send it on its way.

4. Boots
I can't wait to put away my flip flops and bring out the boots. I have a great pair of brown riding boots, but this season I will also be investing in a black pair. These are by Juicy Couture and I'm loving on them right now

5. Knits
Riding Boots + Leggings + Long Knit = Nuff said


Can I please just say that these two ladies look SO flawless its almost not fair?
Talk about knocking it out of the park....far