Weekend Recap: A Summer Tease

And it’s officially Monday. How does that HAPPEN so quickly?!

Chicago, IL

My weekend started off on Friday THANKFULLY working from home because it was beautiful outside. I woke up late since I was working from home, started some laundry (because I FINALLY have a working washer/dryer in my apartment) and got to work. At lunch, I took a break and walked to the gym to get in my workout with Ben.

After working out, I headed back to get in the rest of my day of work, then we headed over to the Hotel Lincoln rooftop to meet Ben’s clients/friends for a few drinks.

Hotel Lincoln

We ended up hanging out with them (and their EXTREMELY well-behaved baby) for several hours before heading to Flo to get in a super late dinner. This is the second time we’ve gone there and unfortunately, I still wasn’t impressed. The service and restaurant itself are pretty cool, but I just am not loving the food and since there are SO many great restaurants in Chicago, I don’t know when we’ll go there again. By then, the temperature had dropped from 80 to 40 – not cool, Chicago.

Saturday started off super late for me … seriously, I slept until 11. Whoops! Ben was working and it had started raining, so I took a Lyft over to the gym around noon. We hung out for awhile, talked about businessey stuff and then started our workout around 1 with some deadlifts (yay!), goblet squats (eew), hip thrusts (eew eew) and finally bulgarian split squats (THE WORST). I was pooped at the end – plus it didn’t help that it was 3 p.m. and all I had eaten was half a quest bar. Whoopsie.

Workout

We got back from the gym, I showered and got ready at my place and then met Ben back at his place because he was making me Italian Beef Sandwich because he’s the best (and also because he wanted to kill me once he found out I had only eaten 90 calories and was pulling 175# in deadlifts while almost passing out after each one. Do. Not. Recommend.)

Italian Beef Sandwich

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching another documentary on Netflix and then taking a nap. Seriously, crazy party animals. The night was pretty slow, too – Ben played this one video game that I actually love watching (otherwise I’m not a video game fan at all), ordered in Thai food and went to bed fairly early.

Opart Thai

Sunday we slept in a tiny bit and then Ben made me pancakes. We went to Starbucks for a little while before heading out to his parents’ house in the suburbs.

And … I justย want to add this in because it’s funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

Funny Meme

Linking up with Katie.

Books I’ve “Read”

I have been a book-reading (aka listening) MACHINE this month! I finally downloaded Audible and it’s seriously changed my commute – both walking AND driving. Driving especially.

I used to love reading growing up, but I’ve lost track of it. Honestly, once I was “forced” to read in college, it wasn’t fun anymore. Plus, by the time I get home from work the last thing I want to do is open a book (unless my boyfriend is reading “A Wrinkle In Time” to me … which he does … and it’s the cutest thing I ever did see).

So insert Audible! I’ve gone through three books this month and it’s only the 24th! I finished my third book last night on my walk home from work and just downloaded “Mastering Your Mean Girl” – I’ll tell you about that next month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Books I've read this month (March)

  1. “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
    My favorite book out of the bunch! I actually read this book on my way to Hawaii last year and own the hard copy, but wanted to listen to it again. Since my first Audible book was free, I used it on that one! This book just screams motivation. I love Jen’s reading (and writing) style and it just made me feel pumped the entire time I listened to it. Highly, highly, highly recommend. Honestly, I’ll probably continue to listen to this one every now and again.
  2. “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
    I loved this book. Up front, it’s pretty “flowery” with language talking about the universe and manifesting your future, but if that doesn’t bother you (or you can ignore it) it’s still a great book to get through. I really thought this book would be more focused on people with extremely creative aspirations (like writers, poets, artists, etc.) but I still found it inspiring and wonderful to listen to. If anything, it helps you think about ideas in a different way and how to be open to them.
  3. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
    I really enjoy this book! While he has less of a flowery, positivity message, I do enjoy the flat out reality checks he gives. Plus, the swearing makes me happy. I’m an avid swearer (<— ย is that a word?) in real life and I just love it when people don’t give a f*ck. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I listened to this book because I tend to care WAY too much about what other people think/feel and this book definitely gives insight on that.

Like I said earlier, my next book is “Mastering Your Mean Girl” and I have a few other self-help type books in my wish list on Audible. At this rate, I need to sign up for an account that gets more than one credit a month – I’m burning through it. Audible sponsorship, please? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you have any recommendations of books to listen to for me?
Have you used Audible before or do you prefer hard copies?
Have you read any of the books above? What did you think?

Workout Wednesday: IIFYM Week 5

Good morning! Sorry my workout Wednesday post is a bit late – I’ve been at the DMV all more (gag). It actually wasn’t a horrible experience and I officially have an Illinois license and plates.

Workout Wednesday

Macros:
Struggled again last week with macros and the weekend was pretty much a guessing game because I went out to eat twice. But so far this Monday/Tuesday I’ve been perfect on my macros so that’s great! Still no change in them … we’ll see how this week of consistency goes.

Workouts:
My workouts were a bit off again last week. I ended up working from home on Tuesday (so no gym) due to the snowstorm, then again on Wednesday because I fell on the ice on my way to work (no gym). Thursday is normally my off day + I work in the city (no gym). So FRIDAY I finally worked out upper body with Ben and Saturday I had an awesome lower body workout with him as well (and then we got burgers YIKES!) Yesterday I actually did a lower body workout that kicked.my.butt. but I loved it. Have to get in cardio/abs today over lunch!

How’s it going:
Better. I’ve still be struggling with self image issues, though. Working through those!

Progress:
My weight stayed the same this week, but since I had a few times of overeating and not tracking, I understand why. I’m just happy I didn’t gain weight. My thyroid seems to be regulating itself, so that’s a step in the right direction!

What did you do to keep your body healthy this week?

Weekend Recap: So. Much. Food

It’s Monday again AND the first day of spring. I’m excited about one of those things, so while trying to get in the head space for the other, let’s do the weekend recap! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you saw my post on Friday, you know I was missing Ireland like crazy. I spent a lot of the day re-reading my blog posts from the trip and remembering how beautiful it was there. Of course, I got some work in as well, though Fridays tend to be incredibly quiet. I took my lunch break around 12:30 and headed to the gym for Ben to train me.

Weekend Recap: So. Much. Food

We’re super spectacular at taking photos together.

After my workout, I went back to my apartment, worked the rest of the afternoon and logged off around 5. I honestly don’t remember what I did next, but I’m sure at some point I went over to Ben’s apartment and hung out there for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning I got up around 8 and got ready for my hair appointment. I found a salon called Edit just a bit from my place, so I made an appointment for a hair cut and color consultation. Loved my stylist and made an appointment in April for a hair color!

Weekend Recap: So. Much. Food

After the cut, I walked over to the gym to meet Ben. The gym was crazy busy, so we sat and chatted for about an hour before hitting a leg day. My lower back was a little finicky, but we got in a good, solid workout. Of course, Ben was talking about burgers the whole time and I realized I haven’t had one in over a year (what?!) so we headed to a new-to-us burger place called Burger Bar right after working out. We both got bloody marys (yummmm), Ben got some ridiculous burger with like three meats on it (#protein) and I built my own with sweet potato tots.

Burger Bar Chicago

Our food was soooooo good and the music they were playing was AWESOME. We’ll definitely be back. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the burgers, we headed back to our places to shower and then I ended up back at Ben’s at some point. It was our four monthiversary (heh) so we decided we’d stop being hermits like we are every other weekend and go out to a bar for a drink. I don’t have any photos, but the bar was packed, I didn’t love my drink (Ben loved his) and then we left around midnight to go to bed. Party-ANIMALS.

Sunday we slept in a *tiny* bit before heading to Starbucks. I went before Ben and played around on my iPad because I apparently decided I wasn’t having a productive weekend.

Weekend Recap: So. Much. Food

Ben met me there, but I left soon after to meet my friend Amanda for brunch at The Dawson. I was able to walk there which was the BEST and I got a bloody mary (typical) and avocado toast. SO GOOD.

The Dawson Chicago

We sat and chatted for awhile, then randomly decided to go get a manicure down the road. Our nail tech was so fun and it was a nice way to end the afternoon!

Later in the day, Ben and I watched a few episodes of a documentary series we’re into, then watched a funny movie before calling it a night. Both of us start getting stressed by Sunday evenings (for different reasons) so it was fun to watch a ridiculous movie (Penguins of Madagascar if you’re curious) and forget about everything else.

That was my weekend! This week is going to be a little interesting, but nothing crazy. My coworker is out of the office later this week and I get to cover for her, so I’ve been invited to way more meetings than I’d like. At least it should keep me slightly busy, right?

How was your weekend?
Are you a brunch person?

Linking up with Katie!ย 

Things I Miss About Ireland

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Like, the real holiday … not the drinking one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you (probably) know, I’ve been in love with Ireland for my entire life and finally was able to travel there in 2015 (I won that trip – did you know?) so why not chit chat about it on this Irish day?

What I miss about Ireland

The People
Seriously, if you want to go somewhere and feel more welcome than you do in your “homeland” – go to Ireland. The people are happy, simple, excited for life and polite. They get up and dance at restaurants on a Tuesday night. They smile (sometimes toothless smiles, but hey) when you walk into a room and greet you. They call you things like “love” and “sweetheart” in their beautiful accents and make you want to sit and stare at them all day. Just me?

The Sheeps!
I can’t help it. I was obsessed with the sheep there. THEY WERE ALL OVER THE PLACE. P.S. Yes, I know the plural of sheep is sheep … come on now, guys. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I miss about Ireland

Theย Beauty
I have never seen a more beautiful place. Between the greenery (seriously … the most GREEN you’ve ever seen, I promise), the flowers, the palm trees (it still blows me away that they had those), the fields … Just insane.

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

The Castles & Old Buildings
The castles are the initial reason I fell in love with Ireland. I had books of Ireland growing up and used to look at all of the beautiful castles, abbeys, etc. They’re gorgeous and OLD. We don’t have anything this old in the U.S. obviously, so it was insane thinking about what happened in those buildings.

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

The Cliffs
The Cliffs of Moher are absolutely gorgeous. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. It was super windy, but a beautiful day. This was #2 on my list of things to see in Ireland (after the Blarney Castle) and it did not disappoint.

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

The Food
The fish was INSANE. I had fish and chips for almost every meal. Or seafood chowder. Even the beef was amazing and I’m not a huge red meat fan. It’s very obvious that their animals are taken care ofย there. OMG I want to go back just for the fish.

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Things I Miss About Ireland

Okay, I’ll stop. Fun fact – I only intended on putting in one picture per category. Whoooops.

If you want to read about every day in Ireland, check out this page! ๐Ÿ™‚

What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?
Have you ever been to Ireland? Any interest in going there?

Workout Wednesday: IIFYM Week 4

Happy Wednesday! This post is up a *little* late today, but it’s up!

Workout Wednesday

Macros:
Ooooh boy, I was on until about Sunday. The last three days have been filled with small binges and overeating, which is never good. Lots of stress + bad self-confidence this week = some eating issues. But I’m getting back on track!

Workouts:
These have been a little scattered. Basically the last two weeks I’ve only been out in the suburbs 1-2 days per week and since I don’t have a gym in the city (I workout with Ben at his, but it’s not an “open gym”) it’s been a little bit of a struggle. I’ve still been getting in at least three workouts a week, though, and I tested my upper body maxes with Ben last Friday (woo!) and then lower body (well, deadlifts) on Saturday which I talked about in my weekend recap.

While this isn’t a workout, I’ve also been walking to work when I work downtown. It’s about a 4-mile walk today (2 there, 2 home) so it’s some nice activity since I usually sit all effing day + in the car!

How it’s going:
Super well, minus the lack in workouts. I’m so proud of how strong I’ve become. I honestly thought it’d take me all year to be able to pull over 200# on deadlifts and here I did 3 strong pulls at 205# and 1 pull at 215# this past Saturday. It’s so crazy! I will say I wish I had a gym membership in the city because I hate working out at my work, but it’s a cheap membership and it’s convenient for now. When I’m based mostly in the city, I’ll have to figure out a gym then. For now, I’ll just have to take what I can get!

Progress:
I actually haven’t weighed myself yet this week, but I know I’m up. My thyroid still isn’t quite regulated yet (though I am starting to feel slightly better) and I had a few small “binges” (I hate using that word…). I’ll probably weigh myself on Friday just to get a reading on where I am, but I’m pretty frustrated with myself. STRENGTH-wise, though … I’m feeling so strong! SO grateful to my boyfriend/coach for pushing me otherwise I probably would’ve never thought I can lift as much as I have been … even if I do pout every time he ups my weight (I’m the worst client ever).

What did you do to stay active this week?

Weekend Recap: Hockey + PRs

It’s weekend recap time! While everyone else was out partying this weekend, I was in the gym and the suburbs. Still fun, I promise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Friday I worked from home. I haven’t had a working washer and dryer in my apartment since I moved in two months ago. It was *finally* supposed to be the day where I got my new unit but … it didn’t happen. First they came in and told me that basically the landlord had rigged the ceiling and the dryer wasn’t blowing the hot air out of the building – just into another part of it. So you know, slight fire hazard. So they refused to set it up completely, but they at least got it in there until … they found a crack in the unit and had to take it out. 2-hours of freezing cold and weird guys in my apartment for nothing. Plus, they left all of the hoses and stuff on my porch instead of throwing them away.

I went over to Ben’s gym on my lunch to go through an upper body workout then went back to his place to work from his couch while doing laundry at his place. I was in the worst mood! I might have only told YouTube, but they found out my hypothyroidism is off again so they had to up my dose. Makes sense why my mood was so off among other things. (P.S. if you’re ever interested inย hearing more about hypothyroidism and my life with it, let me know)

The rest of the night we stayed in with Teressa, eating Thai and watching Happy Endings. My mood was super off, so I was ready for bed!

Saturday I slept in until 10 a.m. and could’ve slept in more (#hypothyroidprobs <—lol). I got up, got some stuff done around my apartment and headed to the gym to meet Benjamin at 12:30 once his clients were done. We were testing my max on deadlift and … HOLY SHIT I PR’ED. Like with 215 POUNDS. Just one time and it was dirty, but I got it! Here’s a video of me doing 205# for three ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’m very proud, if you can’t tell.)

I was jazzzzzzzzed.

After that, we went back to our apartments, got dressed quickly then headed to the suburbs. We stopped at the pharmacy to get my new thyroid meds, got Chipotle and headed to Ben’s hockey game. Unfortunately they didn’t win AND Ben got hurt slightly (he’s okay, just sore), but it was fun hanging out with his brother and dad.

Once the game was over, we went out to his parent’s house for dinner and hanging out the rest of the night. We didn’t get back to the city until almost 11:30. We had a very different Saturday than most people our age in the city of Chicago since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day celebration here, but I had a great time.

Sunday the time change hit us pretty hard, so we slept in later than we had hoped. We got over to Starbucks around noon to get some work done, then just hung around at home the rest of the night.

It snowed overnight (of course) so my commute was a nice 1.5 hours allllll the way out to the suburbs this morning. I was in an okay mood though because I was listening to “Big Magic” via Audible and it was awesome.

Until I got to work and saw that my Amazon account was hacked by someone LITERALLY named “Karma” – Oh hey, Monday. I’ve been on and off the phone/Twitter with customer service so hopefully I get this all figured out. So annoyed and not the best way to start off a Monday, but I guess I can’t let “karma” ruin my day.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Katie

YouTube Update!

It’s FRIDAY OMG THANKFULLY! This week, while I’ve been lucky and haven’t had to commute much, has just been a doozy. Happy to be a step closer to the weekend.

Since I’ve been focusing on getting used to living in Chicago + a new job + a 3-hour commute, I’ve basically been focusing almost completely on my blog and forgetting about my YouTube channel. I know not all of you are YouTube fans, but if you are … here’s a little update from me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beautiful screenshot of me, huh?

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! What are your weekend plans?

Five Things To Do When You’re In A Bad Mood

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling HIGHLY motivated. Of course, there’s been a day or two when I’ve felt down, but I’ve been in anything but a bad mood. Whelp, if you read my blog on Monday, you know that changed this past weekend.

I felt lethargic all weekend + body images issues + had myself convinced that I was never going to “make it” with my dreams of working for myself. I mean, had myself CONVINCED of it. Bad moods really aren’t my thing, so Sunday I spent some time (while writing out this blog) to think of a few things I could do (and you can to!) to pull yourself back into a good mood.

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU'RE IN A BAD MOOD

  1. Talk to someone you love who will lift you up.
    This is key for me. Luckily, I have this wonderful man who I get to have in my life every day who loves me, even through my weird ass girl moods. (Amiright, ladies? Like, WHY AM I CRYING NOW?!) He’ll always find a way to lift my spirits or just let me vent to get all the negativity out.When I didn’t have Ben in my life (and sometimes you just need a girl friend), I’d vent to my friends. My friend Lindsay is always one of the best to talk to because she’ll let me vent, but gives me constructive criticism if I need it. My friend Saige is the same. I love them for that!
  2. Look at puppies. Or cats. Or birds. Armadillos. Whatever the fuc* tickles your fancy.
    FO’ REAL. This always puts me in a better mood. Plus, I remind myself that one of the reasons I don’t have a dog yet is because I want a more flexible lifestyle where I can get a puppy and not leave it in a cage all day. Gives me some motivation.
  3. Watch or read something that’ll put your life into perspective.ย 
    My favorites for watching lately have been …
    Planet Earth: Reminds me that I’m a very privaleged lady that needs to be a bit more grateful for the fact that I can sit on the couch watching Netflix all day and ordering in Thai food instead of hunting fuc*ing tarantulas to set on fire and eat. GROSS.
    Gary Vee videos: I’ve been hooked on Gary Vaynerchuk for a little over a week now and his motivational keynotes and videos. I love his candidness, truthfulness and his work ethic.
    My favorites for reading/listening …
    “You Are a Badass”: I read this book on my way to Hawaii last year and loved it, so I’ve been listening to it on Audible and it just gets me in a good mindset.
    Any Virtual Assistant / Social Media / Girl Boss blog I can find: Since this is the direction I want my life to go, I’ve been reading up on a few blogs to get myself in a better mindset.
  4. Get in a good workout, walk, ย run, spin class, Jazzercise, in-between the sheets time (WHAT?!), I don’t care.
    Getting active helps me about 95% of the time. Granted, this past weekend my workout didn’t help me much, but getting in a walk while listening to YARBA (that was me trying to abbreviate You Are A Badass) did make me feel better. The more I laid around the rest of the day, the more lethargic and just blech I felt. When it’s nicer out, I love to go take walks down by the lake or river to get in some activity plus be around water, which is one of the most calming things to me.
  5. Treat Yo’self.
    I’m bad at this one, so it’s something I’m working on. Maybe you’re buying yourself a cute summer dress or a donut from a local bakery, just get yourself something that’ll make you smile. Doesn’t have to be a lot of money and don’t go overboard with a calorie-dense crazy cheat day, but a lil’ somethin’ never hurt anyone. I bought myself a pretty t-shirt dress from Shophopes this weekend that I’m pretty excited about. My wardrobe needs an overhaul, but the one little dress will do for now.

While I’m not where I want to be physically, mentally, financially, work-wise … I’m working on it and you can’t forget to be proud of yourself for what you’ve done this far, right? Those are just a few of my ideas, so what are some of yours?

Linking up with Amanda!