Clean house, Happy House

Happy Monday Friends!  Did everyone enjoy a long weekend?  I feel like weekends are never long enough.  I had Friday off of work.  Instead of doing something fun and enjoying the day, Madelyn went to daycare and I went to a quick workout class and then home to clean.  It’s much easier to do a deep cleaning when there isn’t a toddler running around destroying everything in her path.  After 5+ hours of cleaning, I promised myself that I would never spend a Friday off of work cleaning again.  Enter the long awaited chore chart.  cleanhousehappyhouse

I’m surprised this wasn’t done sooner.  But it is here and I’m really hoping that it works, because spending your whole day cleaning is zero fun.

Also done this weekend?  My longest run since the Chicago Marathon.  After the marathon, I look a very long, much needed break from running.  It was nice to casually get back into it and run for fun not because I had to.  I had been keeping it around 3 or 4 miles each run, mostly because that’s all I could muster for the treadmill.  But on Saturday, I was feeling really good and I just kept going.

5miler5 miles done.  Now to increase my mileage and get ready for a half marathon in March.

Here’s what’s on the workout and dinner schedule this week:

Monday: Barre & leftovers from date night in (Recipe coming this week!)

Tuesday: Easy 3 miles/pasta with italian sausage, veggies and sauce

Wednesday: Barre/roasted chicken and butternut squash

Thursday: Run 3.5 + core / Fish tacos and beans

Friday: Much needed rest day! No set dinner plans.

I’m off to go get dinner prepared for Madelyn and then to get studying for my NASM test.  I hope everyone has a good week!

What’s the one household chore you hate the most?  Mine would be cleaning the shower!  Luckily, I came across a very helpful pin that will hopefully make it less painless.

Chickmas #18

Happy Sunday!!  Who’s ready for a Packers/Bears Showdown hashtag fighttothedeath?  We are!  Unfortunately though, we live in a house divided and someone is going to be very sad at the end of the game…hopefully it’s hubs :-) I can’t wait to watch the return of Aaron Rodgers and cheer on my Packers!

So last night, 6 of my girlfriends and I celebrated our 18th Girls Christmas together.  I was talking to someone at work about this and they were amazed.  “How is that even possible? You’re not old enough!”  Well we’ve been doing this since we were in 6th grade, so yes it is possible :-)  Normally, we get together at someone’s house sit around and eat, drink and gossip.  This year I volunteered to host and decided to mix things up a bit.

There’s a place in the village of Tosa called Artè that I’ve been wanting to try out and thought it would be so fun to go to for girls night.  The concept behind Artè is that you “drink until it looks good”.  Painting & drinking-a winning combination :-)

We started out at my house with tons of appetizers and Christmas Sangria.  Afterward, we headed out to our painting class.  This place is so cool.  When you first walk in they have a separate part where you can just go and paint a little canvas and sit with some drinks (a fun place for a date night!).  In the back area of the bar is where they have the class.  The instructor takes you step by step to create your canvas work of art.

arte1 arte2 arte3It was a lot easier than I had anticipated and was really happy with the way that it turned out.  I had so much fun with my girls and I see a fun little date night in mine and Larry’s future :-)

With the New Year coming up, I’m trying to get back on track with healthy eating.  These past few weeks have been so tough with the holidays!  Tina over at Carrots N Cake has started an 8 week Get Healthy Stay Healthy.  Each week, she posts a new challenge to follow for the week.  This week’s challenge is to keep a food journal.  This is a big one for me since I feel like I have a good base as far as working out goes.  The food part is always the hardest for me when it comes to losing/maintaining weight.  I’ve always found that if I keep track (whether is just writing it down, counting calories/weight watchers points) of what I’m eating, I have better control over my weight and I make more conscientious choices.  So today, I started tracking what I’m eating over at MyFitnessPal (my username is MLC1102 if you want to join me!).

Sunday: Rest day/Game day…no dinner plans
Monday: Barre Bee & Run 3.5 miles + Chili
Tuesday: Last Blast of 2013 Bootcamp Style workout +NYE soiree at my sister’s house
Wednesday: Barre Bee (gotta start the new year off right!) + Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Run +Gym workout with my mom :-) + Fish/veggies
Friday: Barre Bee & Run

Lil’ Champ + Erin Condren Giveaway Winner

Hey guys! I hope everyone had an amazing weekend!  Ours was very good, but first things first.  We have a winner for the Erin Condren $25 gift card.  Lucky #6:


Which is CLopez84, who says: I make lists per day and cross them off as I do them, I also sometimes add them to my inotes. Also, I do grocery shopping with preset recipes in my mind so I can meal prep and no food goes to waste.

Congrats! And please send me your information at

Our weekend was a good one.  Went to Barre Bee Fit and tried out a new class: barre-dio interval.  What a workout!


I’ve now tried all three classes that the Milwaukee studio offers (barre bee, Interval Barre, and Barre-dio Interval) and I can’t really decided which one is my favorite. I’ve loved them all and have yet to take a “bad” class here.  The instructors have been wonderful and the workouts have been extremely effective.  I leave class with weak muscles and a “good sore”.  Next week I’m scheduled for my first back to back class: Barre-dio interval followed by barre…I hope that I don’t die!

Besides working out, we celebrated my BFF’s daughter’s first birthday and took Madelyn to see Santa and to get some baby bling:

babyblingShe was a champ for both!  No tears for Santa (more like, “who is this man??”) and very little tears for her ears.  The key to that was having a cookie on hand to give her.  She maybe cried for 10 seconds.  I wasn’t too worried since she handles shots like a champ.  High pain tolerance like her mama :-) I have been debating for a very long time whether or not to pierce her ears as a baby or wait until she’s old enough to decided.  Her ears were just so cute the way they were, I didn’t want to “damage” them.  Now that I finally bit the bullet and just went with it, I’m glad that I did.  She looks adorable in her little studs.

Here’s what’s on the menu & workout schedule for this week:

Monday: Barre + treadmill workout.  This Turkey Chili

Tuesday: Weights at the gym/Salmon with sweet potatoes & kale

Wednesday: Treadmill run + Barre.  Leftover Chicken Noodle soup.

Thursday: 1.5 mile run timed (PT test prep!) Dinner is tentative. Going to a Gluten-free cookie exchange.

Friday: Rest Day. Eat out/Dine in :-)

What’s on the menu for you this week? Any fun work outs or cookie exchanges?

Cold Weather Running

How is the weekend over already?  Normally, I have Mondays off, but with the Thanksgiving holiday and wanting to have off on Friday, I am adjusting my work schedule a little bit and having an extra long weekend :-)

This weekend was another packed one.  On Friday, I went out with my sister and our wedding photographer/friend.  We ate some good food and went and listened to a band at The Knick.  On Saturday, Larry and I participated in the ‘Stache Dash 5k in Hart Park.  We finished in 28:26.  The freezing cold weather was our motivator.
stache dash

Bloody Marys before the run…a little pre-race fueling ;-)

This race was the run that I think set the tone for the upcoming winter season.  I used to HATE running in the cold.  My lungs would burn, I could barely breathe…it was awful.  But last year after having Madelyn, something changed.  I don’t know if I was playing catch up from not being able to run while I was pregnant, but I started to run past November (usually a turkey trot would be the last outside run for me) and well into December and January.  Something about completing a run in the bitter cold is very empowering, once you get past the initial shock of cool air.

The most important thing about running comfortably in the winter is proper clothing.  The first thing you need is a base layer.

My base layer is from the Champion line at Target.  Nothing fancy.  Just make sure that it’s moisture wicking/dry fit.  Whatever you do, avoid cotton.  Sweaty cotton=cold cotton and that’s no good.  The thumb holes really help to keep the shirt sleeves in place.

Next, you’ll need a mid-layer.

I chose my Under Armour Wounded Warrior project hoodie.  I got this last year from hubs for Christmas.  I usually splurge a little more on quality mid-layers because they are also great to wear alone for Fall weather runs.

And because the weather was in the teens on Saturday, I wore a running jacket over my hoodie.

This was another C9 Target purchase.  It’s waterproof and blocks the wind fairly well, but I do want to look for something a little thicker.  I saw a few women with running jackets this past Saturday that looked really warm.

Pants are another item worth investing in.  For this particular run, I wore my New Balance Windblocker tight.  In temperatures below 30, I wouldn’t wear any other pants.  They are amazing.  I also own a pair of lululemon fleece lined running tights, but these definitely take the cake when it comes to blocking wind and staying warm.

And of course you have your hat/ear warmers and techie gloves :-) I will admit, Saturday’s run was a tough one for me.  I was already toying with the idea of just calling it off on Friday.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the wind.  The start of the run was the worst, and once I got past that 1 mile mark things got a little better but a hot shower never felt so good.

After the race, I rewarded myself to a trip to the new Athleta at Bayshore to pick up something cute to wear for a fun, special event that I’m participating in on Tuesday :-) Check back for more details on that.


So cold weather runningYay or nay?  Do you bundle up and hit the pavement or are you a treadmill runner in the winter?

Running Game

What. A. Week.  Is it Friday yet?  Little miss Madelyn has been waking up the past few nights because of teething and it’s making for very long days for her mama.  She spoiled us as a newborn and is making up for it this week.  Thankfully there’s coffee and yogi tea with friendly reminders.
yogiteaThis past weekend we were super busy with lots of fun stuff.  Larry had a friend come in from Chicago, so we took him to a local watering hole down the block from us then out to eat at Sobelman’s (a first for everyone).  They were voted Milwaukee’s Best Burgers (winning a 2010 food wars challenge against AJ Bombers) and they’re also well known for their gigantic bloody marys.  Both were amazing.  I want to go back.  Like today.
baconatorWe ended the night at World of Beer-where they have over 500 types of beer to try.  The boys were in heaven.  It was nice being a DD for them.  Yes, it was a late night but it felt great the next morning, waking up, hitting the gym early and then heading off to a hair appointment.  I didn’t spend the day feeling useless after too many drinks, besides caring for a toddler when hungover is no bueno.  It never fails: when mommy and daddy want a late night out, Madelyn decides to wake up at 5:30am…it’s like she knows!
On Sunday, I woke up and met my mom and her friend at Greenfield Park for the GOTR 5k.  Girls on the Run is an organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running (source).  I first heard about Girls on the Run while I was living in Chicago while I was at the Chicago Rock n Roll expo.  It caught my attention and I was so happy that I was finally able to participate in one of their events.  It’s a wonderful organization and I hope that one day, Madelyn can participate in it.  I think it’s so important to raise a daughter who has a lot self-confidence and a healthy image of herself.
GOTRmadelynThe course started out a little crowded, as most races do.  When I was about a 1/4 into the run, it started to rain pretty steadily and I didn’t want my headphones (or phone) to get ruined with water, so I slowed down to put them in my vest pocket and ran the rest of the race without music-and I’m so glad that I did.  I got to hear the little girls cheer each other on and listen to one dad encourage his daughter to keep going when she wanted to stop by saying, “Come on, GIRL POWER!”.  It was pretty heartwarming and brought a smile to my face.  We finished just before the tornado sirens started going off…in November…in Wisconsin.  (Note to self: make sure to wear waterproof eye makeup when there’s a potential of rain)
This race was my first event post marathon and I can confidently say that I’m ready to get back into my running game :-)   It was nice taking a much needed break-my body, mind, and feet thank me, but I missed running longer distances.  A few things I want to focus on as I build my mileage back up are strength training, stretching and foam rolling.  I foam rolled tonight for the first time in what seems like forever and it was pure torture.  Even though it hurt while I was doing it, I heard my calve muscles breath a sigh of relief after it was all over.
After I logged 4 miles on the treadmill today (38:41/9:41 pace), I came home to dinner being cooked in the oven :-)
Thank you Whole Foods for providing my family with crab stuffed salmon with brie and asparagus.  While that was baking, I sautéed some sweet potatoes in truffle olive oil and sea salt.  I added the spinach at the end and it was delicious :-) Lucky for me there’s leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I’ll be back to post a soup recipe later this week!!

Bison: It’s What’s for Dinner

Happy Veteran’s Day to all of my fellow Airmen and Soldiers out there :-) For those serving and for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, thank you!

We spent the weekend with friends, catching up on much needed rest, cooking and taking advantage of the Jo-Ann Fabrics Veteran’s Day sales.

On Friday, I had off of work, so Larry & spent the day cleaning and doing some serious yard work and then later that night, I met up with some girlfriends from high school at a bar in the city where we grew up.  It was nice to have some drinks, catch up and secure our plans for our annual girls Christmas Soirée!


Saturday I headed to the gym to test out and calibrate my Garmin foot pod.  It took a dump on me right after the marathon, so my lovely friend, Kristine, sent me a new one.  I “googled” the heck out of how to trouble shoot it but then was told sometimes these things just don’t last very long.  My first foot pod lasted about a year before it died on me (Just to give those of you who have one a heads up).  I’ve become so reliant on having one now, especially with the colder weather now upon us.  It’s nice to be able to use your Garmin in doors :-) What did I ever do without that thing??

Saturday night, we had a date night in.  Larry and I like to start doing these when the weather gets cool and the days get short.  I pretty much create a really good dinner with quality ingredients from either Whole Foods or Outpost.  He helps chop stuff up and we drink wine or beer and listen to music in the kitchen.  Since having Madelyn, our date nights in don’t usually allow us to eat until about 8:30 or 9, but it’s something we both really enjoy doing and it’s a nice change of pace from the fast, week day meals that get consumed.


This past weekend, we made Bison burgers, french fries with truffle cream sauce and a beet salad.  The bison burgers were inspired from a whole foods recipe, the truffle cream sauce fries came from me wanting to relive our DMK burger experience and the beet salad was a recipe from the Runner’s World Cookbook that I was gifted for my birthday :-)  Just a note with the truffle cream sauce…it’s the same consistency as mayo and I cannot express the importance of adding the canola in VERY SLOWLY!! The first batch did not turn out and I had to send Larry to the store for more eggs and oil.  The second batch, turned out wonderfully and I can proudly say that this weekend I learned how to make my own mayonnaise.  This opens up a whole new level of cooking :-)

So why Bison as opposed to beef?  According to the USDA, a grass-fed 3 ounce bison patty 152 calories and 7 grams of fat.  That’s less than a broiled, 90 percent lean beef burger, which averages 184 calories and 10 grams of fat.  It’s even less than a broiled, 93 percent lean turkey burger, which averages 176 calories and 10 grams of fat (source).  It’s a lot more costly than beef, but I think it’s worth it because it tastes better too.


Goat Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Bison Burgers

  • 4 ounces of goat cheese crumbles
  • 3 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • sea-salt and black pepper to season
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1.5 lb ground bison meat.

Directions.  Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  You might need to wet your hands with water to keep the meat from sticking.  Form into 6 patties of even thickness.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Preheat grill or stove.  I added a little bit of Earth’s Balance to grease up the grill pan we have and to keep the burgers from drying out since Bison is so lean.  Cook about 4 minutes on both sides or until desired temperature is achieved.  Top with your favorite burger fixin’s and enjoy!

I’m off to drink some tea, cuddle up on the couch and start reading this for fun! I hear it’s a good one!


What’s the last book that you’ve read?  I’m always looking for good recommendations!

Birthday Extravaganza

Wow! What a busy weekend and work week (even though it was only a 2 day work week).  There’s so much to write about, I’m not even sure on where to begin.  I’ll start by telling you all that I celebrated my birthday on Saturday, but because we had drill this past weekend, I pretty much celebrated the whole week leading up to it.
Friday, I stopped at Francesca’s after work and picked up something to wear for date night.  Since I spend the majority of my days in a uniform or workout clothes, I always buy myself something new when it comes to special occaisions.  My birthday dinner/date night definitely qualifies :-)
purpledressWe went to Parkside 23 for dinner, since I’ve been wanting to go there since it pretty much opened.  PS23 is Wisconsin’s only restaurant with an on-site farm.  Their meats are from local, organic farmers so that no hormones or antibiotics are ever used.  All of their vegetables and herbs are grown in their garden and their menu changes seasonally.  Their Motto: There is a simple way to bring food to the table.  It starts with a respect for the land we cultivate.
PS23′s menu is broken into pricing tiers: $7-$12, $13-18, $19+ and sides.  The $7-$12 is where you can find your starters, small places and some side vegetables.  Larry and I shared the roasted beets: scarlet & gold beets with Wisconsin chevre, maple-glazed walnuts, apple cider vinaigrette and leafy greens.  The beets were diced up really small and made the perfect main vegetable for this salad.  It was a great way to start out our meal.  For my main meal I went with the Scallop & Lobster which was served over fresh linguini, newberg cream and sarvecchio parmesan.  There were also some other fresh vegetables mixed in there.  It was one of the best seafood pasta dishes I’ve ever had and the portion size was just perfect, not too much and not too little.  Their pasta isn’t gluten-free, but they do offer a gluten-free menu.  Larry enjoyed the lamb chops, which were also very good.
ps23pastaOverall, we had a fantastic dining experience and will definitely be back again!  Since we were childless for the night and didn’t have to be at drill until later in the morning, we decided to check out a wine bar in the Tosa Village, Ruby Tap.  I cannot begin to express to you how much I love this place and their concept.  They have featured wine on tap that customers can choose from, but if you’re not feeling that you can also opt to check out the WINE VENDING MACHINE!
You open a tab at the bar which is connected to a card they give you.  You take the wine card and go over to the machine and pick out the wine of your choice and then decide if you want a taste, a 3 oz pour or a 6 oz pour.  Genius!  They have a Thanksgiving day wine pairing event a few days before turkey day that I plan on going back for :-)
rubytapAfter drill on Saturday, I went out for pizza with 3 of my favorite gals: My mom, sister and Madelyn.  My mom bought me the Runner’s World cookbook I have been lusting over and graciously paid for our dinner and my sister got me a very cool Wisconsin necklace I had pinned on one of my boards MONTHS ago!  I love that girl and the way she thinks outside the box.
On Monday, I did something crazy:  I auditioned to be an instructor at the Barre Bee Fit opening in Milwaukee early December.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get it BUT she did say that I had a very solid audition and that my form and my familiarity with barre was a plus.  She could only take on so many instructors this first round and strongly encouraged me to audition again in a few months when they have more openings.  Either way, I’m just thrilled to see Barre finally coming to Milwaukee.  After my audition, Larry and I ventured up to Lambeau Field for The Packers vs. Bears game.  It was our first time going to a game together.  We had a lot of fun!  I just wish for my sake, that the game would’ve ended differently :-)
There’s #12-the second man of my dreams, right before he got sacked and taken out of the game :-/
Thanks for letting me play catch up!  I’m off to go work on some art projects for Madelyn’s class :-) Have a great night!

Weekend Catch Up 10/28

Hi friends!  I hope everyone had a great weekend, I know we sure did!  We were super busy with lots of family stuff in Chicago on Saturday.  Back in August, at Madelyn’s birthday party, my SIL asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  I gladly accepted the offer and on Saturday we set out to look for some dresses.  After trying on a few dresses, we found one that looked great on all of us.


This one was my favorite of all the dresses we tried on.  It’s the perfect material for a June wedding, it looked great on everyone, and it was very comfortable.  I can’t wait to see them in the actual color that the bride to be picked out!

We also celebrated Grandma Rita’s 90th birthday in Chicago.  I’m amazed at Larry’s Grandma: not only does she still live by herself, but the woman drives and loves going to the casino :-)  She’s quite the little ball of fire!

On Sunday, we took the babes and walked around the mall for a little bit.  I had some birthday money I wanted to spend and I also wanted to check out Williams-Sonoma to get a head start on my Thanksgiving Day prep:


I used this last year when I made my first Thanksgiving turkey and it went over very well.  So, I’ll be using this again this year and in the future, until I get brave enough to venture out and try something new ;-)

After the mall, I came home and got ready for a baby shower for a girl at work.  I was going to bring my little miss, but she was passed out on the ride home from the mall and didn’t even blink an eye when I took her out of her carseat and into her crib.

Speaking of Madelyn…this past week I bought her her first pair of boots!  She didn’t know what to make of them at first and had a hard time figuring out how to walk in them.  By the time I picked her up on Friday, she was walking all over in those things.


I die over the cuteness :-)

Today, I finally made it out to my garden to plant some garlic.  I hope I didn’t wait too long.  The weather is supposed to be decent this week-nothing below freezing.  Instead of planting 100 heads of garlic, like the previous owners did, I opted for 40 heads.  I think that should be sufficient.


I’m really excited about gardening in 2014.  I’ll definitely have more time to plan out what I want to plant back there.  We are also in the process of transitioning half of our garden space back into the backyard.  After assessing how much of it we used this past summer, we decided that 6 raised garden beds is just too much for us.  If it was our only hobby, then maybe.  And we’d like Madelyn to have a bigger yard area to play in than what we have now.  Removing 3 of the beds would open up a ton of space and give us back a good chunk of our yard.

P.S. Does anyone have tips for growing beets?  I planted a TON of those tiny seeds in July and I only got TWO beets!  I don’t know if I planted them too late in the season or what, but it was very frustrating given how much time I spent doing it.  The two beets that I did harvest ended up in a juice this past weekend.  Apple, beet and ginger.  YUM!

Weekend Tidbits

Homeownership kept us pretty busy this weekend.  It was the first weekend we’ve been able to just futz around the house and get outside in the yard.  We spent a lot of time at Home Depot and World Market.

When we bought our house, we inherited a TON of garden space.


I wasn’t joking.  When I first saw the space I was overwhelmed and immediately wanted to convert it back to a yard.  The only thing I’ve ever grown is a baby!  Then, during our second walk through I thought, “Well maybe we’ll take out the first three and keep the three beds behind the garage.”  After the previous owners accepted our offer, I met with the Mrs. and she informed me that the 100 heads of garlic were growing in one of the beds that I wanted to take out.

I finally got back there this week and saw the garlic starting to sprout.  I got really excited and started to plan out what else I’m going to plant back there.  I planted some carrots in the same bed as the garlic.  I’m not sure of how they’re going to come out: those seeds are tiny! And I thought of a better way to plant them after I kind of just spread them around.  The rest of the planting and gardening will resume after I get back home in the beginning of June.

Another project I wanted to get done before I left at the end of this month was the accent wall in our bedroom.

bedroom wall before

bedroom wall before

  I used a wall stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils to transform our wall into this:


It was a really tedious job but I’m really happy with how it turned out.  The color is Special Gray from Sherwin Williams.  All the walls were painted with a matte paint and the accent wall was painted with a high gloss paint.  I used the matte paint to go over the high gloss paint.  I’m really glad I stuck with the same color.  Unless you’re a stenciling expert, if you’re going to do this, I would recommend sticking with similar colors.  There were a few little mistakes but it’s really hard to see them, which I’m very thankful for.

The very BEST part of my weekend came today when I was reunited with my sister.  She’s been deployed for two months and we’re so happy to have her home.  Madelyn has missed her auntie!


When Melissa and I found out the date and time of when she was scheduled to come home we decided to not tell my mom, but rather surprise her at work.  Thankfully, everything fell into place and we were able to pull of an awesome surprise homecoming!

Welcome home to my sister and best friend!  We have some wine dates to catch up on :-)

In the past Few Weeks…

One thing I’ve learned since going back to work full-time?  Weekly blogging with a newborn is pretty impossible for me.  My day starts out at 4am: I pump, get ready for work, get little miss up and ready for daycare, feed her, make myself some coffee and we’re out the door at 5:50ish a.m.  I drop her off at daycare around 6 and am at work by 6:30 am.  I work 10 hour days and am lucky enough to have an hour a day to workout-so really it ends up being about a 9 hour day.  I leave work between 4:30-4:45pm to pick up Madelyn from daycare and I get home around 5pm.  When I get home, I get settled in, make dinner, spend time with my husband & baby and start our bedtime routine around 8:30-9.  I’m usually in bed around 9:45-10.  Sleep & repeat.  It’s a very long day but it’s worth the 3 day weekend I get to enjoy :-)

Since my last post we’ve had some pretty eventful things happening here:

1. Madelyn came down with a cold and got so congested that we ended up at an Urgent Care.  The little girl had such a hard time breathing it scared the bejeezus out of Larry and me.

2. Whatever germs Madelyn picked up from daycare, she decided to share with the rest of us and we all took turns being sick the past few weeks.

3. I celebrated 28 years of life.  After a certain age, birthdays stop being exciting.  I was at the tail end of a really bad cold this year and we had drill the following day, so I spent my birthday with my family eating pizza, drinking wine & snacking on birthday cake. It was perfect.

4.  I ventured down to Chicago with my husband and mom and we ran The Hot Chocolate 5k.  It was my first run postpartum and it felt really good.  I ran with my mom whose pace is  just a tad slower than mine-but I wasn’t trying to set any PR with this little race.  My only goal was to have fun-which I did!

5.  I’ve had a not so great few weeks of tracking my weekly weight watchers points.  The good news is I haven’t gained any weight. Bad news? I haven’t lost weight either.  Another blogger pointed out to me that MyFitnessPal DOES take into account breastfeeding so I may be switching back to that because A-it’s free and B-I had success with it before I got pregnant.

6. I found an “in studio” barre class to take in the Milwaukee area.  I liked it, but I want to try another class during the week before I give a full review.

7. Hubs and I spent the night in Chicago this weekend for some much needed husband/wife time.  My mom kept Madelyn for us while we wined and dined in the Windy city.  It was hard leaving her behind but I had peace of mind knowing she was at home and in good hands.  We found a good price on and stayed in a really nice hotel located right off of Michigan Ave.

Larry took me on a little shopping spree and out to dinner at RPM Italian.  I’m a HUGE fan of Giuliana & Bill so I was super excited to try out their new restaurant.  Like every other Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, it did not disappoint.  The food was awesome, the service was spectacular, and the atmosphere was very Modern without being too pretentious.  Their entrees were made to share which I like when you have a small group because then you get to try a variety of foods.  It was a fun getting all dressed up to go out.  It’s been a long time since I’ve done that and Chicago is the perfect city for it.

I’m off to browse through the Thanksgiving issue of the Food Network magazine.  I’m hosting for the first time this year and I’m pretty excited/nervous! Wish me luck!

Pumpkin pie is a must-have at our Thanksgiving dinner.  Larry loves it!  I love mixing cranberry sauce and stuffing together the day after.

What’s your favorite/must have Thanksgiving entree?