Highs and Lows from the Weekend

I know. It’s Wednesday night. But the weekend technically ended for me yesterday since I had some extended time off.

-Morning impromptu breakfast dates are kind of the best. Collectivo has the best baked oatmeal in the world.

collectivo-I finally finished painting Madelyn’s room. I painted her trim white and the part where the wall and the closet door meet. I’m happy with the way it turned out. Because I needed a break in between coats to run to Target and to run for my sanity, I didn’t finish until 10pm Friday night. Best night of sleep in a very long time.

sneakpeekbedroom-Madelyn slept until 8am on Saturday. It was amazing.  I should’ve known..

morningtime-Monday she pointed to her throat and said “it hurts.” We spent Tuesday at the doctor’s office and on the couch.

couch-In between the illness and couch time, Madelyn managed to make her daddy a birthday cake. She was such a great help, she even cracked an egg into the batter before I could stop her. Guess who got the crunchy piece of cake? I can just hear her laughing at me…

birthdaycake-My BFF’s husband threw her a surprise 30th birthday. It was fun to see all of my friends. A girlfriend of ours helped out with the decorations and made a collage for her which included some lovely photos of us circa 1990s. Ones I’ve been trying to hide from hubs. We all agreed we have gotten finer with age.

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-Stroller running is getting easier. When Larry and I first set out on our first stroller run of the year with Madelyn, I started out pushing her. I got about a quarter mile in and I told him that he had to take over until we turned around and that I would take her on the turn around. I couldn’t catch my breath. Now we’re running 3 miles at a time and I can run up some decent hills with her at a slow pace.

strollerrunning

What are some of the highlights from your weekend? I discovered some fun new podcasts that I want to write about in another post! Always a win!

Catch Up

I’m alive! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. In the little spare time I have, I’ve had my nose in the books, studying for a promotion test that I have to take for work. Good news is that I passed! Bad news? It’s a two-parter, so I’ll be back at it studying for the second part within a week or two. My brain needs a little break right now. I’ll be happy when it’s behind me.
So, what have I been up to since my last post?
Running
Slowly getting back into the swing of things. I ran 4 miles yesterday at a 9:14 pace, longest run post marathon. I headed down to the lakefront after work and it was completely dead compared to the last time I ran down there. I started by the lakefront but ended up running more in neighborhoods. I ran without music and it was very therapeutic. I had a lot of thoughts to last me 4 miles :-) Now that the marathon is behind me, I want to start training with a purpose. During my last two marathons, my goal was just to finish and to beat my previous time (2nd time around). Now, I’d like to focus on getting faster, add in more speed work, and educate myself more on marathon racing/nutrition. Next up on the race list? I am signed up for a Thanksgiving day run…running stroller category! I’ll be doing my first ever 5k while pushing Madelyn in the jogger. That should be interesting. Fingers crossed for good weather.
strollerunCooking
I’ve been dabbling with a little bit of everything the past few weeks: {partly} paleo, vegetarian substitutions, and vegan cooking. I recently purchased this cookbook and made Eat Your Greens Detox Soup. Oh She Glows has been a long time favorite blog of mine, so I was thrilled when I got it in the mail. I’m hoping to make some more meals very soon out of it.
detoxsoup
The soup was delicious, and perfect for a cold, autumn night. It freezes well too. I also changed it up with the old spaghetti squash creations. A few weeks ago, Danielle Walker from Against all Grain put up a picture with a link to a delicious looking casserole type dish: Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash. Once the spaghetti squash was cooked and shredded (thanks hubs!) this was incredibly easy to put together. Just how I like it! We also had leftovers of this that I froze and ate for lunch throughout the week. I really want Danielle’s next cookbook, Against All Grain-Meals Made Simple. I think I’ll add it to my Christmas list.
Celebrating
This past weekend, I celebrated my 30th birthday! It was the perfect weekend filled with all of my favorite things to do with all of my favorite people. I started the weekend off with a class at The Barre Code with my mom and sister, taught by one of my faves :-) Then we headed over to Polished for manicures and mimosas. After that, I went home and took a NAP! (My in-laws had Madelyn). When I woke up, I got dressed and ready to go celebrate with my husband. What I thought was going to just be dinner and drinks somewhere turned out to be a surprise party! I knew Larry had something up his sleeve, I just didn’t know what and to what extent. When we arrived at Camp Bar and he suggested we go “walk around to check it out” as I was trying to Instagram my Old Fashioned (they have THE BEST!),  I was onto him. It was so great to see all of my friends and family there to celebrate. It’s really hard to get surprises past me, so I give them props. If I know something’s going on, I usually bug the person until they just tell me (Larry is usually the only one who caves) and then I get mad at him for telling me. I’m the worst. The biggest surprise of the night? A Michael Kors handbag. And inside the handbag was a wrapped book clueing me in to a New York City trip! I didn’t know when we were going until I opened up the book and saw that we’ll be ringing in 2015 in NYC!!! I’m thrilled! Larry knows that I’ve always wanted to visit NYC during the holidays. Well played husband, well played.
bestbirthdayeverThere’s a story behind the book. It’s a kids series called Larry gets lost in…(Fill in the city). My mom got Madelyn her first one when she went to San Francisco and every time we’re in a city where they sell the book, we buy it. When I surprised Larry with his trip to Boston, I had the book gift-wrapped with baseball tickets inside. She has San Fran, Chicago, Boston & NYC.
The next morning, I started my day off with a run and then we enjoyed a peaceful, childless brunch before picking up Madelyn at our meeting spot. My mom cooked a delicious meal from Against All Grain. And of course birthday cake. She bought me tickets to a Broadway show in NYC. I was super excited to be spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square-something on the bucket list-until I read all of these horrible reviews basically giving advice not to do it. I went back and forth on it for a couple of days and then decided that it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, it’s the reason Larry bought the tickets for the dates he did, and the older I get, the less appealing it will probably be. So, we’ve decided to brave the craziness and do it!
Other things on my NYC to do list so far: Run through Central Park, Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, visit Babycakes Bakery NYC, The 9/11 memorial museum, and a Carriage Ride through Central Park. I told my husband we will need a vacation after this trip :-)
It’s been a great month so far and I have lots to look forward to. The next few months are going to fly!
What are some other must see/eat/do things in NYC? What’s your favorite way to ring in the New Year? I’m a bum, I prefer staying in, making dinner and fancy drinks at home over getting dressed up to go out. This year will be a nice change of pace!

Look Who’s Two!

On Sunday we celebrated Madelyn’s 2nd Birthday.  I can’t believe how quickly these past two years have gone by.  It makes me kind of sad that she is no longer the small, squishy, cuddly baby we brought home from the hospital. 
IMG_1049Although I miss the days of just rocking with her pressed up against my chest, it brings me joy to watch her grow, learn and explore the world around her.

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Week 10 CM Training Recap

Happy Wednesday! We’re half-way through the week and HALFWAY THROUGH MARATHON TRAINING!!!!!!!!! I’m excited and scared all at the same time.  October 12th can’t get here fast enough.  So far, my training has been going okay.  I’m trying my hardest to get my longer runs done with a local running group.  On days when I have Saturday plans and can’t make the build up runs, I do my long runs on Fridays after work, which can be very challenging.  But I’m powering through, foam rolling through the pain all with a smile on my face :-) Here’s a little Recap of Week 10 Chicago marathon training:

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Kinda like Christmas

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Ours was pretty jam packed over here: birthdays, baseball games and the discovery of a new to me running store…10 minutes from my house {DANGER!}

PROAfter work on Friday, I headed over to Performance Running Outfitters (PRO) to get fitted for running shoes.  Last time I got fitted for shoes was shortly after Madelyn was born.  I kept buying the same pair when the previous ones wore out.  This time, I wanted to talk to a professional because, since training for the marathon, my left calf and heel seem to get really tight after my runs.  The lady who helped me had me do a few exercises and then got me on the treadmill to video record my feet while I ran.  I have neutral pronation, my foot rolls in very slightly as it lands on the ground.  My running form has gotten tremendously better since the last time I got fitted for shoes so the shoes I was running in had much more stability than I actually need anymore.

After running in a few pair of shoes, I decided to go with the Saucony Guide 7…and a pair of Newtons.  I’ve been eyeing up Newton’s since my mom’s friend told me about how much she loved running in hers during the Get Lucky 1/2 Marathon.  I initially went to PRO with every intention on just getting the Newton’s, but because they’re more of a natural running shoe, there’s an adjustment period with them so I needed another shoe to rotate out.  Lucky for me PRO gives a 10% military discount and they also honor Newton’s 20% military discount.  After looking at their website a little bit more, I later found out that the woman who helped me, Jessica, was actually the owner of the store.  She was so nice and down to earth.  I’ll definitely be back for all of my running gear :-)

shoes1

Another awesome benefit of shopping at PRO?  For every $200 you spend, you get $25 back to use on your next purchase. I went back the next day and bought this $70 Brooks running jacket for $17.  It was marked down on clearance and I had my $25 to spend.  WIN!

brooksjacket

On Saturday morning, I headed out the door to break in my new Saucony’s.  I did 6 miles, out and back and my legs felt great!  A little sore, but nothing like what I’ve been experiencing.

first6milesI had my route mapped out and kept an eye on my pace the whole time.  That was the first time I focused on my pace as opposed to the distance, and I think it worked out well for me :-)

After I was done running, I had a bunch of errands to get to(including heading back to the running store!) for someone’s birthday!! Larry turned 30 this weekend and we were having a little party at our house to celebrate him.  I purchased cupcakes from Miss Cupcake and a dozen vegan cupcakes from Classy Girl cupcakes.  I picked out the “manliest” cupcakes I could find: Beer Nuts, Stout, and Maple Bacon.  The vegan cupcakes were banana with chocolate-Madelyn LOVED them and all weekend I kept hearing a little voice saying, “cupcake, cupcake!”

cupcakesHubs knew about his party, so I surprised him with an awesome gift…Cubs VS Red Sox in BOSTON!!! We’ll be heading to Beantown at the end of June and I can’t wait!  We haven’t boarded a plane for a trip since our honeymoon three years ago.  He was really excited as well.

gift

After the party, we headed out to the bars for a little bit and then woke up in the morning to get to the Brewers/Cubs game.

SOB

Note the water in Larry’s hand :-) We just can’t hang like we used to…nor do I want to :-)

It was a great weekend with awesome friends and family.  30 looks good on him if I must say so myself ;-)

I’m excited to break in my Newtons.  I think I’ll take those for a little spin on the treadmill tomorrow!

What’s your favorite piece of workout gear to go shopping for?  Nothing beats a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra!

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!
winevending
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.
 onwi
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 :-)
number12
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!

ONE.

ImageLast Saturday (the 17th), we celebrated Madelyn’s 1 year birthday with family, friends and lots of food.  Instead of trying to manuver Madelyn to sit still and smile with the 12 month sticker, we decided to have one year pictures taken with an old friend of mine from high school who has started her own photography business.  We were really happy with how they turned out and I’m looking forward to having her take our family pictures in the future.  It’s nice to take professional pictures with someone you know on a personal level and are really comfortable with.
moschultzSo, we have a one year old.  Every stage that we’ve gone through with her has had its likes and dislikes, but regardless of what stage we’re in, it’s been amazing and so much fun watching her grow and discover the world around her.
Sleep.  We’re back to waking up a little later on the weekends (between 6-7am) and naps are becoming more consistent and routine so we plan our days around that-I have become that mom.  However, if we have something planned, like a playdate at the pool, and it’s during her naptime, I’ll wake her up, put her in the car and away we go.
eat
Eat.  Within the month we have gone from whole milk to organic soy milk.  At her 1 year appointment her doctor recommended that we try no dairy for a month because she’s always had congestion in her nose.  We are hoping it’s no dairy so that we can avoid tubes, surgery or whatever else.  On Friday, I gave her her last bottle feeding.  We were in the process of weaning her off, but the doctor said to just cut it out all together for fluid in the ear reasons.  Monday night she cried for about 30 minutes on and off (torture for everyone involved) so I was nervous about daycare on Tuesday, but they said she went down for a nap with no problems.  Last night, we did bath, jammys and bedtime routine and she went down with no problems.  She’s eating all table foods and so far we haven’t had any problems with her not liking something.  We’ve been avoiding peanut butter up until this point, but I think we might try it out this weekend.  I’m a little nervous :-/
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Play.  We are still walking with assistance over here.  She has gone from holding both of our hands, to walking with just holding one hand.  She got a few push toys for her birthday, so hopefully that will help her gain some confidence to go it alone.  She will notice that she’s standing on her own, get nervous and sit down.  I’m happy to say that she is starting to imitate sounds that I make.  I was starting to get nervous that all she was going to do was scream :-)  She can now clearly say and identify, “Daddy”, “Duck”, “Hi”, and “Uh-Oh.”  When she imititates me saying “Uh-Oh”, she adds an extra “oh” at the end and she ends up saying “Uh-oh oh” kind of like she’s trying to sing Beyonce’s “Single ladies” :-) Very cute.  Today, she threw her first little tantrum in the car.  She was drinking water from her sippy cup and she let out a huge scream and threw it to the other side of the backseat and continued to arch her back and let out a few more screams.  Instead of turning around to see what was going on, I just kept driving and paid her zero attention.  I’m hoping she realizes that this sort of behavior will get her nowhere.
Now that we’ve reached the one year mark, I think the monthly Madelyn updates will come to an end and I’ll post toddler things as they come up.  I can’t get over how quickly time has gone and like I said with my pregnancy updates, I’m glad I have these posts to reference back to one day.
I’ll be back later to talk about the details on her birthday party including some DIY projects.

Summertime, Please slow down.

Happy Monday!  My weekend went by way too quickly as it usually does.  This past week, I’ve been super busy getting stuff ready for the baby and finishing up other things I wanted to get done before the baby comes…like finishing our wedding album. So I took a little break from blogging this past week to focus on that.  It’s almost done.

On Friday, I celebrated my mom’s birthday by going taking her to Lululemon and buying her her first Lulu top, dining at Via on Downer, and finishing up with some frozen yogurt at My Oh My.

We started our meal off with the Crostino Milano appetizer with gluten-free bread.  On top of the bread was spinach infused with olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes and goat cheese.  It was very good and just what I needed.  I’ve been skimping on veggies the past few weeks because they just haven’t appealed to me in the raw sense, but this was very satisfying.

For dinner I went with the pizza.  They have some of the best gluten-free pizza I’ve tasted.  LC and I visited their sister restaurant a few months ago, and enjoyed it so I knew this place would not disappoint.    I went with the La Bella pizza and added chicken and goat cheese.  The last time I was at Via, I had a pizza with their garlic sauce and it won my heart so I ordered another garlic sauce based pizza.  My heartburn hasn’t been too bad this pregnancy, but I wanted to err on the side of caution and forgo a tomato based sauce.  The pizza originally came with artichokes, cheese, and onions.

After dinner, we headed to a new frozen yogurt place in Milwaukee.  In the land of ice cream and frozen custard, I’m so happy to see a frozen yogurt shop.  There were tons of them in Chicago and I’ve now seen two pop up in Milwaukee.

I loved the way this place is set up.  We walked in and a girl offered us little sampling cups so that we could try whatever yogurt we wanted before we decided.  It’s self serve and their flavors change daily.  I decided on 1/2 dolce de leche and 1/2 NY cheesecake.  I topped it with some strawberries and was on my way.  You can also top your frozen yogurt with whipped cream at the cashier’s station.  The yogurt was very good and I would decide to have this over ice cream any day.  Lately, ice cream and I haven’t really meshed well.  Last time we went to Culver’s for frozen custard, I opted for a lemon Italian ice instead.  Baby really prefers fruity and cold :-)  My mom said it was the perfect ending to her birthday :-)

On Saturday I went into work for a little bit and then came home and cleaned the house.  I finally understand this “nesting” stuff.  I’m constantly cleaning up our house every chance I get and I’m starting to drive my husband crazy.  After my cleaning frenzy, we went to El Fuego for dinner and headed down to the lakefront to watch the Festa Italiana fireworks.  It was the first fireworks show that I’ve seen all year.  We missed the 4th of July fireworks due to the drought/dry grass this year.

On Sunday, I had my girlfriends over for a girls brunch and some pool time.  It was nice catching up with everyone and getting together just for fun without it revolving around a baby shower, wedding shower etc.

For brunch I made a crustless quiche and overnight baked french toast.  A friend of mine also brought over a fresh fruit salad to share.  After brunch we headed over to the pool to sit in the sun and swim around.  It was the perfect afternoon with my girls and will probably be the last time I see some of them before the baby arrives.  We all agreed that we don’t get together often enough, but when we do we pick up right where we left off.  As we get older, life gets in the way.  I’ve been extremely blessed to have the same group of girlfriends since middle school (16 or so years?).  Two of them are also pregnant and due in December.  They both recently found out that they’re expecting girls, which makes me even more anxious to find out what we’re having.  EVERYONE keeps telling me that I’m having a boy (my sister is sticking to her guns and saying girl).  And last night I had a dream that I gave birth to a boy. In the beginning, I had dreams that I was having a girl and I’ve also had a few dreams that it was a boy.  Maybe that’s because it’s what everyone is guessing that I’m having?  Who knows, but we’ll know soon enough :-)

I’m off to the craft store for a DIY project for the baby’s room and I’ll be back later with a pregnancy update!

Something to talk about: In my opinion, summer goes by way too quickly as an adult.  What’s your all-time favorite memory of summer as a child? My grandma was a teacher’s aid, so I remember spending a lot of time with her in the summer.  We’d spend time baking, going to the library, movies, and the little wading pool in our neighborhood.  I also remember making homemade GAK with her :-)

 

27

Tomorrow’s my 27th birthday & I will not be home to celebrate, but I am getting one of the greatest presents possible at the moment b/c I’ll be en route to Chicago the very next day.  Celebration will take place this weekend (When you deploy & miss your birthday, you go from getting one day to getting the whole weekend).  Until then, I will leave you with 27 things that I’m thankful for.  I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite food bloggers.

1. For the man who made me a wife almost 4 months ago.  I’m thankful that you are so patient, supportive, loving & understanding.  I couldn’t have picked a better partner in life.
2. For my wonderful family.  Mom, your words of wisdom & advice have not gone unheard. I greatly appreciate you and everything you’ve done for me.  Mel-I’m thankful to have you as a sister and a best friend for life.
3. The awesome girlfriends that I’ve been so blessed to know and grow up with since middle school.
4. My dog Oliver, seriously the best little buddy ever.
5. My ability to run, workout & just in general use my legs.  When a bad ankle sprain had me sidelined in April I never realized how much I had taken my mobility for granted. 
6. The Air Force.  We’ve had our ups & downs and uncertainties along the way, but I’m thankful for all the opportunities that the Air Force has given me to meet great people and travel to some pretty cool places.
7. Bar Method. For giving me sculpted legs that complete strangers compliment me on…
8. And for tan towels for making them look just a little bit better in shorts :-)
9. Hard cider.
10. Pumpkin anything.  Coffee, oatmeal, pie…the list goes on & on
11. Wine & Napa Valley
12. Quality TV: Guiliana & Bill, Kardashians, Chelsea Lately, Bethenny ever After
13. My Nook.  Although I do enjoy/miss curling up with an actual book, my Nook allows me to bring many books with me in one small little gadget. Definitely helps with luggage weight restrictions.
14. July 3rd. Two pretty big things happened on this date :-)
15. Quiet cars on the Amtrak.
16. The Packers (so far) undefeated football season.
17. The flan I discovered in the chow hall…the first dessert I’ve had in 30 days.
18. Cafe Hollander’s goat cheese & rosemary macaroni (pre-gf days) Thank you for giving me the inspiration to create my own gluten-free version.
19. Having 4 seasons. Especially fall.
20. Babycakes cookbooks.
21. Swirlz & Sprinkles
22. Hot yoga on cold winter mornings. Seriously ahhhmazing!
23. Udi’s GF bagels.
24. Garmin, for keeping my time & mileage during my runs
25. Lululemon groove pants.
26. For God & the pilots who got us here safely.
27. Having a creating outlet where I can write about life & food…two of my favorite things.

See you in a few days…from CHICAGO!