Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aloha Maui

Aloha from Maui, everyone! :) 

I hope you all are having a fantastic Sunday so far!

After a longer-than-expected day of traveling, we arrived safe, sound, and very excited in Maui last night.

Usually I would be all over seeing how long our flights are going to be, planning what I'm going to do while we are on a layover, and printing out directions to our hotel.

This time around, I pretty much shut out all thoughts or planning for the trip, because I knew it would send me into distraction danger zone while I studied for the Bar exam.

So, needless to say, yesterday was not without its surprises! :)

The day started out with a impromptu workout, with us sprinting through the terminal at O'Hare to make our flight on time.

We got lost trying to find the long-term parking we had booked, and then I had the pleasure of being selected for a-little-too-personal pat-down search by the TSA, after I accidentally sent my full CamelBak through security (whoops!).

After our sprint, were in our seats, safe & sound, for the first leg of our trip.

After all of that activity, coffee was a must.

Weeeee! It's early! 
We had a 2-hour layover in Denver so we stopped to get some lunch & a vacation kick-off beverage.

As we were waiting for our lunch, I overheard a surfer-looking guy next to me talking about how we were all there having a beer to get us through the "7-hour flight."

Come again?!

Justin had just asked me how long I thought the second leg of the trip to Hawaii was going to be, to which I responded "oh...4 to 5 hours, max!"

Oh contraire mon cherie.

It was definitely a much longer trek than I thought!

I think I expected that since Hawaii is still part of the United States, it would be just a hop, skip, and a jump to get there.

A few gossip magazines, about 100 pages in my new book (The Help, I am LOVING it!), and about 3 mini-naps later, we arrived in Maui, ready to get the party started!

We picked up our rental car (my first time renting a car - soooo grown up!), stopped @ Costco for some essentials (chips, salsa, hummus, beer, and wine - priorities, people!), and made the gorgeous sunset-filled drive to our resort on the beach.

Hello, handsome! :) 

After settling into our room, we decided to make it a simple night (we had been traveling for 18 hours by this point!), and have dinner at the Italian restaurant at our resort. 

I was so ready for a glass of Vino, and, you know, Mr. Kendall Jackson never does me wrong! :) 

After debating our menu options, we decided to be "cheap" (not really possible here, but we tried!) and split 2 appetizers since it was already pretty late and we wanted to save our moolah for Momma's Fish House tomorrow night (it's supposed to be the best seafood place around!). 

We started with the crab dip:

This was one of the restaurant's "signature" dishes.

I always try to go for a restaurant's "specialties" whenever possible, and this dip definitely did not disappoint.

It was crab-tastic! :)

This dish was super rich, and we probably could have stopped there, but that would just be no fun!

So we moved onto...

Flatbread pizza w/ blue cheese, walnuts, bell peppers, and arugula.

I loved the addition of the arugula on top, it was like a salad + pizza, all in one.

Of course we have leftovers, which are sounding pretty darn delish right about now... :)

We enjoyed our meal seated facing the koi pond & tiki torches.  Perfect first night scene.

Justin & I love to take late-night beach walks on vacation, so we headed straight out to the beach to sink our toes in the sand.

The stars were absolutely incredible.  The big dipper was literally hovering right over the ocean, like it was coming in for a big scoop.  It's amazing how it is in such a different spot in the sky over here.

We wandered to another hotel, and picked up a signature cocktail as our "dessert."

Hello vacation!

We have arrived! :) 

We loved our walk, but I was super tuckered from all of that traveling, so I climbed into our heavenly bed shortly thereafter.

We woke up this morning to the sea breeze coming in through out balcony doors, and got ready to head down to the breakfast buffet.

Our vacation package (will share more details with you later), is such a sweet deal.  We have 2 breakfast vouchers for each morning we are here, and this buffet does not disappoint.

Tons of fruit, pastries, eggs (including eggs Benedict!), bacon, sausage, potatoes, crepes, waffles, juices, and, of course...

Oats! :)

You really can't teach an old dog new tricks.

I also had tons of fruit, a little crepe, and some eggs for protein.

The papaya stole the show! :)

Justin was on cloud 9 when he saw the bacon...give this kid some bacon, and you've made an instant friend. 

We walked off our full breakfast bellies on the beach...

And I am now ready to lather on the SPF, find myself an umbrella, and spend the rest of the day reading my book by the bluest water I have ever seen! :) 

Fingers crossed I can work out this Casper situation without the lobster effect. 

xoxo & aloha (it's hello and goodbye!), 


Friday, July 29, 2011

Pinch Me

Hi friends!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Happy fuhreakily deakily FRIDAY! We made it!

Did you guys miss me?!


I really don't even know where to start with this post.  There is SO much going on over here.

Let's start from the beginning...

Earlier this week, I sat for the Bar exam.

The whole process, as you know, was a doozie.

Over 2 months, and 600 plus hours of studying, I was about to lose my mind.


Think the I-can't-sleep-my-face-is-breaking-out-and-I'm-about-to-pull-all-of-my-hair-out kind of crazy.

Yikes.  It wasn't pretty.

My nerves were clearly at an all time high, and all I could think about for the last few days leading up to the exam was studying.  Hence the no-post since last Wednesday (I know, I'm sorry, I missed you!).

So, how did it go??

It was...okay.

I was most nervous about the first day - because it was essays all day, there were about a bagillion topics they could have tested us over, and we had no clue what it they were going to ask.

Surprisingly, I felt like I rocked the first day.

I was in the zone, and even with the unfamiliar things I was able to muster up some knowledge from the deep down places in my brain.

I was so relieved when the first day was over, and I wasn't too worried about the second day, because it was multiple choice, we knew the topics, and I had done about every practice problem in the world.

Surprisingly, I did not feel so hot after the second day.

Thankfully, I have been assured that this is a completely normal feeling.

So, I'm gonna just ride that assurance out until the beginning of October (that's right, we have to wait until OCTOBER!), when I will find out if I *cross-you-fingers-knock-on-wood* passed.


I went out after the exam with a bunch of my girlfriends from law school to Hubbard Inn to celebrate.  It was a blast of and everything was delicious.

{If you go there, you HAVE to get the Scallops.  Life changing.}

After the mini-celebration, I woke up yesterday not really knowing what to do with myself.

I told myself I was going to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Catch up on DVR and order some unhealthy takeout, you know the gist.

Just as I was playing "lazy song" on repeat getting ready to leisurely write my post, my plans for the day changed.

In a really great way.

I won't go too much into detail...but...

I got a JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Ohhhh my gosh, you guys.

This was, to say the least, very unexpected, very relieving, and very exciting, all at the same time.

I don't think it's all even set in yet.  It's so surreal and I am thrilled.

I will start my new job as an associate as soon as we get back from...

MAUI! :)

That's right, we are going to MAUI for our vacation, in case you guys couldn't already gather that a Hawaiian vacation was on the plans for the post-Bar vacation celebration.

We leave tomorrow morning, and we are SO pumped.

I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders, and I mean really, what better way to celebrate?!

So, to get me pumped up for my big trip, and you pumped up for a big weekend-o-fun, how about a playlist?!

Entitled (because I'm a dork) the "Maui Wowee" playlist! {Get the list here on iTunes}

1. Tonight Tonight, Hot Chelle Rae
2. The Time of Our Lives, Miley Cyrus
3. Got 2 Luv U (feat. Alexis Jordan), Sean Paul
4. Stars Tonight, Lady Antebellum
5. Rockstar 101 (Dave Aude Radio), Rihanna
6. Peacock, Katy Perry
7. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People
8. Take It Off (Billboard Radio Mix), Ke$ha
9. Fading, Rihanna

Enjoy & let me know your favs! :) 

You guys will also be excited to know that I got a new CAMERA yesterday!!

Yep, no more iPhone pics on the blog (they really weren't that bad, right?!).

I am very excited to be back in action, and I can't wait to share so many fun things with you guys in the upcoming weeks.

I've been storing away some goodies, so stay tuned!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of packing to do, and I have a massage (thanks mom!!), a hair appointment, and I'm gettin' my nails did.

Rough life, eh?!

I will see you all from Paradise! :)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIAW: Just Eat The Cookie

Good evening! :)

I just wanted to pop back in to finish up WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday).

Even by about 4PM, I still couldn't get that darn cookie off my mind.

So I did it...

I mean, how could I not? It was just too darn cute & scrum-diddily-umptious.

Loved. Every. Bite.

Dinner was a bit later tonight, but it came together very quickly thanks to my best friend: The Crock Pot.

{Butter & Basil Corn, Sweet Potato Fries, and French Onion Chicken}

Recipes to come! 

Now, we're relaxing on the couch, finishing up one of my all time favorite movies...Ratatouille! :) 

Nighty night & sleep tight. 



WIAW: Breakfast & Lunch Edition

Happy hump day! :)

I got off to a little bit of a later start than normal today, because I did something a kinda crazy...

I slept in! {Well, if you consider waking up at 6:45 on a week day sleeping in...}

I've been feeling really tired the past couple of days, which has not been so great for my studying stamina.

Justin suggested I sleep in a little today, so I did, and I am feeling much more rested.

I strolled leisurely over to the gym this morning to do 20 minutes on the butt burner (aka StairMaster), while studying my Wills outline (earthshatteringly exciting material!), followed by a quick, but powerful strength circuit.

I will share the deets on that one with you guys soon.

After a much-needed shower, I heated up a breakfast fit for a champion...

A patriotic oatmeal bowl! :)

Into the mix: Cinnamon Roll Oat Fit + 2/3 cup Almond Milk + 1/2 tbsp. Chia Seeds + 1 tsp. Natural PB, + Strawbs + Bloobs + tiny handful of Granola.

By the way, the left carton below is much > that the right carton.  Just sayin'! :)

The Blue Diamond might be slightly (I'm thinking 50 cents?) cheaper, but the Silk by far makes up for the expense in taste.

After breakfast, I contemplated where I wanted to go study for the day.

I have been spending some days at home, and some days out of the apartment @ places like Starbucks.

Ironically, even with the office I had been so longing for, I seem to be more productive & focused when I get out.  Go figure!

At home, I'm just more likely to waste time doing random chores, and I am always tempted to take "just a short" nap.

Today, I ended up driving a little out of my way to get to a Barnes & Nobles, which used to be one of my favorite places to go study during college.

I was excited, once I got to B&N, to see a huge cafe, but disappointed, when I learned, that they had NOT A SINGLE OUTLET! How rude!

Luckily for me, there was a Panera just down the strip mall.

Problem solved.

Actually, problem really solved.

This Panera is the jam.

It is quieter than the one that is closest to our apartment.

They are not trying to freeze me out with the AC.

AND... I have received 3, that's right THREE, free samples since I've been here.

Umm yeah.

They had me at "would you like a sample of our double chocolate brownie?"

I also got a little cup of frozen lemonade, and a bite of maybe the most delicious cookie I have ever tasted (M&M sugar cookie fresh out of the oven).

Also enjoyed as a pre-lunch "snack" (if you'd call it a "snack"):

Skim latte. 

I rarely get lattes anymore, because I'm having an on-again, off-again relationship with dairy.  

Today, I went for it, and everything was allllll goood! :) 

After a few solid hours of studying, my stomach started growling, so I headed up to order lunch. 

{1/2 a Tuna Salad on Honey Wheat + cup of Lemon Chicken Orzo soup}

I love that Panera now lists the calorie content next to all the items on the menu, even the half-sized portions. 

While I'm not really a calorie counter, I hesitate to eat lunch out all that often since I have no clue what I'm getting myself into.

This way, I feel like I can make an educated decision about my mid-day meal. 

Lunch was delicious, and now I'm getting back into these books. 

Have a great afternoon, and I'll cya for dinner? :) 



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mixing it Up

Hi there! :)

Happy Tuesday!

Of course I have to say it - one week from today I will be sitting @ Northwestern, taking the first day of the bar exam (it's a 2-day exam, roughly 6 hours each day).


I woke up this morning after a not-so-stellar night's sleep, but, somehow, I was up and ready to go.

After taking 2 days off from working out (rest day Sunday, and I just didn't get to it yesterday), I was ready to work up a good sweat at the gym.

I knew I wanted to do something intense on the treadmill, but I wasn't feeling particularly "fast," this morning, so I went for that insane interval incline set from back in the day.

If you haven't given this interval workout a try yet, you should really consider it.

It can be very tough, but it is really different and will throw you're body through a bit of a loop, which I think can be good sometimes! :) Variety is the spice of life.

This workout was actually perfect for today, because I had a new playlist ready to go, with some slower power ballads mixed in with some higher-paced tunes.

Here's how my latest playlist breaks down (and you can go HERE directly to purchase all or part of the list on iTunes).

1) Lighters (feat. Bruno Mars), Bad Meets Evil
2) The Mack (feat. Snoop Dogg & Iyaz), Mann
3) 2 In the Morning (Radio Edit), Girlicious
4) Best Thing I Never Had, Beyonce
5) Push It, Jessie and the Toy
6) Skyscraper, Demi Lovato*
7) Paper Gangsta, Lady GaGa
8) Pray (Acoustic Version), Justin Bieber (cool down/strech song).

*I kind of hated this new Demi Lovato song when I first heard it.  For some reason it sounded like she was kind of over-stretching her voice to me, and it was a little painful.

After I heard the song a few times, I changed my mind. 

I realized I actually kind of love it.  

I don't know much about Demi Lovato (which is probably good, since I'm not actually 12 years old), but I did hear the story behind this song, and it is very emotional.

I think this song will really strike a chord with anyone whose experienced a period of their life when they felt like things were spiraling out of their control in some way.

I had my own little taste of this "type" of feeling, in my own way, at one point in my life.  I am obviously so thankful to be in such a better, happier, and healthier place in my life today.  

This song kind of got me when I was climbing up that hill on the treadmill, thinking about how far I have come and how close I am right now to accomplishing the biggest goal I have had in my life thus far.

Maybe I'm just emotional right now because of the stress (probably), but the song almost brought tears to my eyes at the gym, so you know it's gotta be good.

I'm sure you're all gonna at least go listen to it now, right? :)

Anyway, on a lighter note, the workout felt amazing!

I added a couple of minutes to the walking parts, and ended up here:

Not too shabby, eh?

I was definitely ready for a shower, some breakfast:

(Combo I've been having almost daily over the past few weeks - Oat Fit + 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds + 1 tbsp(ish) peanut butter + 1 cup almond milk + strawwwbs + tiny handful of granola on top, for the crunch!) 

And some caffeine...

And yes, the floor does make a great bookshelf.

And yes, I am still in my fluffy, pink bathrobe.

And yes, I do plan to stay exactly like this until at least noon! :)

**Something to talk about: Are there any songs that really just "get" to you?

Enjoy your days, everyone!



Monday, July 18, 2011

Vacation Beauty

Gooooooood morning! :)

How are you all doing this Monday? Still a little groggy from the weekend?

Me too, and I didn't really even do much other than bury my nose in a book - funny how that works, isn't it?!

With the impending mountain I have to climb next week (that's right, next week!), I keep telling myself to do like Tinkerbell and "think happy thoughts"...

Which translates to: daydream about my upcoming vacation!

I am seriously SO thankful we have this trip planned.

I don't think I've ever been more excited about a vacation in my life.

To say it is much needed is definitely the understatement of the year.

So as I am daydreaming about my vacation and starting to think about what I am going to pack (besides every sundress & bikini I own!), I got to thinking about my favorite vacation (and warm weather in general) beauty products.

As I'm prepping for my vacation, I'm going to be using a couple of products to get my skin glowing the healthy way, including:

Jasmine & Vanilla Sugar Scrub (Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy line) - $16

I have been obsessed with this line & scent for years.  The Jasmine & Vanilla combo is great for stress relief, which we all know I can use right about now! ;) 

I love using sugar scrubs to exfoliate pre-self tanner, and this one is a goody!

Moving along, if you've been a reader for a while, you know my love for the Jergen's Natural Glow line.

I've been using the face lotion + SPF religiously all summer, and I'm going to be spreading the body lotion on after almost every shower for the next week, since I've been deprived of a lot of daylight lately!

You better believe I bought the firming lotion this time around - anything for a little extra bikini confidence.

While I'm on vacation, I love to pamper myself with these 2 products from Bath & Body Works that I discovered a few years back:

Be More Pacific Shower Cream (Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa) - $15 (or buy 2 get one free!)

Tahiti, Sweetie Body Lotion (Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa) - $15 (or buy 2 get 1free!)

If you haven't yet, you should really give these 2 precious gems a try.  

The body wash & lotion both have Manoi Oil in them, which is apparently an ingredient used during many tropical spa treatments.  

I don't know about that business, but this stuff smells like vacation.

It has the most soothing coconutty scent to it, that instantly brings a smile to my face.  It also leaves your skin feeling baby soft. 

These products are great to use after you've been out in the sun all day, or even after a long sweaty run.  I've even purchased them in the dead of winter - to lift my spirits a little and remind me of warmer days. 

If you're checking a bag, and can't bring over 3oz/100ml "liquids," B&BW has a travel set (also for $15), which includes 2oz bottles, with the Tahiti Sweetie, and enough other lotion to leave you feeling like buttah! :) 

The next vacation beauty product I love is for getting that effortless, beach hair look.

My hair has been stick straight all my life.  It has never had any curl to it, which has its benefits (I can blow dry it and there's really no need for a straightener), but I've always been so secretly envious of those girls who can "scrunch" their hair into pretty curls. 

Interestingly enough, my hair has started to have a little "wave" to it over the past couple of years.

I'm going to invest in this Aquage Sea Salt Texturizing Spray (all the deets are above) for my upcoming trip, and give it a try after a long day at the beach!

I love the idea of spraying this product all over my hair while it's damp, and letting it air dry for that beachy hair look.  I'll take any excuse not to fry my hair with a hairdryer on occasion.

I'll post some pics for you guys when I use it to show you the results! :) 

This next goody is great after a late night out hula dancing & sipping on some fruity cocktails: 

Mario Badescu Ceramide Eye Gel (get it here - or at Ulta) - $18

This stuff is a little bit of a splurge, but I swear it will change your life (one pot also lasts FOREVER!).  

This soothing eye gel helps moisturize the very sensitive eye area and decrease puffiness around tired eyes.

I try to keep my jar in the refrigerator for an extra-soothing, cooling effect.  I also like this product because it's not super heavy or creamy.  

I will be keeping this in the mini bar, right next to the Corona Lights! :) 

So those are my favorite vacation-esque products!

What are yours?? 

As you think happy thoughts like Tinkerbell, take second to head on over and check out my absolute favorite scene from a childhood classic - Hook.


Have a happy & healthy day, everyone! 



P.S. I'm not sure if you're a fan, but the new season of one of my favorite shows, Guiliana & Bill, starts tonight on Style Network! :) Woo hoo! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

No Better Therapy

Hi long lost friends! :)

I can't believe it's been 2 days since my last blog - I am so sorry for neglecting all of you!

I am starting to get super tense about this exam to the point where it's really hard to think about much else.

On a more positive note, do you know what the best therapy is for killer stress?

A super sweaty long run...

{so embarrassed by my yuckiness, I can't even look at you right now}

A big tub of fro yo!


I woke up today feeling a wave of stress come over me about what was ahead for the morning, so I knew there was only one thing to do...

Lace up my shoes, turn up the country, and joggg it out!  

I covered my usual 4-mile route this morning, and despite the insane humidity, I was running strong and it felt amazing.

I got home and showered up quickly so I could squeeze in some good hours of studying before the exciting afternoon I had planned - my first ever blogger meet up! 

Today a group Chicago bloggers got together for lunch @ Seasons 52 followed by FroYo @ Red Mango.  

Perfect summer afternoon, right?!

I was so excited to meet all of these super sweet and adorable ladies.  They are all just as fantastic & fun in person as they are on their blogs.

{picture borrowed from the beautiful Miss Chelsey!}

So great to meet you (roughly from left to right) Maria & Lisa (Healthy Diaries), Melissa (Food and Such), Chelsey (Clean Eating Chelsey), Marisa (Mind Over Booty), Sara (Sara Runs), Diana (Veggie Next Door), and Stefanie (The New Healthy)! :) 

I have been dying to try Seasons 52.  My wine club went there a while back and I had to miss the outing, so I was really excited to finally get there.  

Our waiter was extra-informative, explaining the restaurant's name, which had something to do with the menu changing 4 times a year, like the seasons.

I didn't catch his whole bit, because I was super busy trying to figure out what I wanted for lunch. 

Seasons offers a vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free menu, AND all of the dishes are less than 500 calories.  Pretty neat, eh? :) 

I wanted something summery & fresh, so I went with the fish tacos: 

I was a little bit intimidated by the fire-breathing-dragon hot sauce that came on the tacos, but I put on my big girl pants, and dug in.

I am such a sucker for anything with avocado.

I was a happy camper, and I almost dominated the whole enchilada plate. 

After lunch, some of us headed over to a little piece of heaven: Red Mango

{Diana, Melissa, & Me!}

You know the deal - lots of fro yo choices (I went with Key Lime & Coconut, shake it all up), a buffet of toppings (white chocolate chips, sprinkles, and fruit for me), and bowls as big as your head but you still not so secretly want seconds.  

You better believe I'm going to drag Justin back tomorrow for another cup-o-joy after a long day of studying!

Speaking of, I've gotta get back to it.

Thanks again for hanging in there with me through this crazy time...I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks like a beach and lots more time to do some fun things with this little blog of mine! :) 

Have a great night, ya'll! 



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pioneer Days

Hi guys!

It's been a lot of fun playing pioneer and all, but it really gets old after a few days.

You wanna know the top 5 worst things about a power outage??

1) You miss the Bachelorette (and no, your DVR cannot help you).

2) No morning coffee = a very grumpy Bar exam studier.

3) All of the food that was once in your fridge must now fit into coolers, or else it's going to the raccoons.

4) You are forced to workout AFTER you workout.

{5 floors after the Pizza & Beer set, noooo thank you!}

5) Everyday activities suddenly become abnormally dangerous activities.  

For example...

A "simple" trip down the elevator: 


Or attempting to shave in the shower (don't ask...)

But, you wanna know the BEST thing about a power outage? 

The stupidly giddy feeling you get when the light magically returns almost 72 hours later.

{high on life light air conditioning}

If you need me, I'll be hanging out in the freezer! :)



Monday, July 11, 2011

Peanut, Peanut Butter

Hi there! :)

How are you all doing today?!

How am I? Well, let's just say I am rolling with the punches on this funday Monday.

Justin & I got our day off to a good start with an early morning trip to the gym (anyone else still rise & shining?).

I happened to watch a little news while I was on the StairMaster, which was mostly weather-related, because we had some crazy storm that was supposed to be rolling in.

Of course, I immediately started worrying about my commute downtown, but thought I'd be fine since they said it wasn't really supposed to hit until 9am, when I'd be safely in my seat at BarBri, right?

Not so much.

I don't know why I ever trust these weather people.

It started looking like a natural disaster was on its way right as I was about to leave our apartment at 8am.

Just before I left, I heard my train was delayed an hour due to high winds.  I didn't feel like driving in the madness, considering it seems like people in Chicago are completely inept when it comes to driving in any sort of rain.

So, I decided I would just go outside really quick to help bring something down to the car for Justin, and then I'd come back upstairs and study at home for the day.

I got on the elevator, and just as it hit floor 2, the car stopped.


The power went out.  I was stuck, in this elevator, by myself.

Naturally, I started to freak out.  I wouldn't have been so worried if it weren't for the fact that: a) last time our power was out, it was out for close to 48 hours, and b) it was freaaaaaking HOT in there!

I gathered myself, called Justin (thank God he was still home and I got cell service in there), and then the fire department, to come get me outa there!

About an hour later, I was rescued.

The fire department seriously has magic powers.  They have the keys to everything in the world, so they were able to hydraulically move the elevator down the shaft and pry the door open so I could jump out.  Hallelujah! 

I will note, however, that at first, they told me they were going to "drop me down. WHAAAT?!?!

Poor word choice, but we all got a laugh.

Anyway, moving right along, we are now without power (again, I know!), which means I might be seeing a lot of peanut butter & jelly over then next 24 hours.

We may be short on jelly:

But, at least we do have enough peanut butter to feed an entire elementary school:

{And we have 2 more jars on top of that}

Yeah...Justin thinks I'm nuts, literally! ;)

I think I mentioned it before, but I took advantage of a deal recommended by Courtney over @ Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, and ordered a sampler pack + a full jar from Saratoga Peanut Butter.

I really had my eye on the Blizzard Butter (white chocolate pb!), so I ordered a large jar in addition to the small, sample size one in the pack.

When I opened the box, I was super sad to see my big jar of Blizzard Butter was not there.  In its place, however, was something called "Adirondack Jack."


I emailed the company to tell them what happened, and the said they'd ship me out the Blizzard Butter that day.  Woo hoo!  I got my other jar super quickly AND I got to keep that Jacky jar, too.  Sweet deal.

I love peanut butter in lots of ways (on toast, in my oats, by the spoonful, off of my finger...), but there really is nothing better than a good old PB&J:

Especially with a couple of nanner slices thrown in. 

I think my love for nut butter can really be traced back to this little number:

I like peanut butter, creamy peanut butter, chunky peanut butter too.

Never gets old.

Before I leave, I want to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend, and workout inspiration, Miss Ashley!!

I miss you, I love you, and I hope you don't kill me of this picture are having the BEST BEST day ever! :)

Have a great night, everyone, and stay clear of those elevators!



Saturday, July 9, 2011

It Doesn't Take Much...

To make me happy these days.

Give me a glass of my favorite wine...

A warm, quiet night...

And some good food...

{Kobe Beef Burger + Brie + Grilled Onions, Side of Trees (aka broccoli on steroids!)}

And I will be grinning from ear to ear! :) 

Last night Justin & I had a nice, quick date night @ Brick House Tavern & Tap in Niles. 

I was SUPER impressed by this restaurant.  

They had open air seating (kinda like Florida, minus the palm trees), fire pits inside (!), my all time favorite wine on the menu (Kendall Jackson Chardonnay), cushy seats, and a menu I could stare at for hours: 

After debating about 5,000 different options (steak salad, chopped chicken salad, mac & cheese, sloppy joe, etc...), I ended up going for it.

It was a Kobe beef night, and I enjoyed every bite! :) Throw in a little brie and some grilled onions, and I just couldn't pass it up! 

Brick House also had a good amount of beers on tap for pretty great prices ($4.50 for 16 ounces sounds like highway robbery coming from a fellow ChiCity girl), along with these huge beer towers, if you really want to do it up big: 

They have quite a few locations throughout the Midwest and South, so hopefully you can give this place a try yourself! 

And tonight, after a long day of studying, I'm ready to dig into some of my healthy(ish) pizza and veg out on the couch with some Dateline: Real Life Mysteries. 

Such an exciting life, I know! :) 

Enjoy your nights & I'll catcha later gators!