Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday-Our Ceremony

Happy "Wedding" Wedneday!  Our ceremony took place at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran church in Pewaukee WI.  I really wanted it at the Villa Terrace (where we took pictures after the ceremony) but my vote was overturned.  I am happy with how it turned out & I am grateful that we got to spend the time with just our wedding party on the trolley after the ceremony.  Olga took some great pics and we have lots of memories from that trolley ride :-) 

My only complaint about Lutheran churches vs. Catholic churches is that Lutheran churches aren't as ornate and decorated as Catholic churches are.  I do like that I was able to pick out my own music for our ceremony though.  That made it more personable.

My mom walked me down the aisle.

And at the end of it there was a nervous groom.

 We stood before God, our family and friends and said our vows.

 Two families combined into one.

And shared a kiss to seal the deal ;-)  

We posed for pictures with our family.

And my lovely & beautiful maid of honor signed our marriage certificate.

One of my biggest regrets about our ceremony is not having someone video tape it.  When you're walking down that aisle and everyone is staring at you, the whole thing becomes a blur.  Even when we were up there and the pastor was giving his sermon, you hear certain things but it's impossible to remember everything.  Everyone kept telling me that our pastor had such a wonderful message, I just wish I could've remembered the whole thing.  I can't believe it's been 2 months since we've been married, time is sure going by quickly!  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Green Weekend, Wieners & SIDI for the Week

This past Friday, I completed my last long run before my 1/2 marathon this Saturday (EEK!)  10 miles.  It wasn't the easiest, but I'm glad it's behind me.  In my opinion, the hardest part about running a half marathon, is the training.  Once race day is here, it's a completely different feeling. A high that only 13.1 miles can provide. 

On Saturday, my mom rolled into town, just for the day.  We brunched at a new place in Wicker Park called Prasino. Prasino means "green" in Greek.  I picked out this restaurant because they are a gluten-free friendly restaurant (my mom can't have gluten) & it was a healthy brunch option.  My mom had a delicous looking omlet and I had the French eggs benedict and a kombucha mimosa.  The eggs benedict was okay, but a little bit salty for my taste because of the ham.  The drink was very tasty! I wanted another one. 

I love venturing around the different neighborhoods of Chicago.  I don't get to the Bucktown/Wicker Park area as often as I'd like to.  But when we're ready to purchase a home, LC and I have pretty much decided, that this is where we'd want to live.  After brunch, we walked around and went into some little shops.  One of my favorites we went into was Green Heart.  They're a fair trade shop and they have awesome stuff! Jewelry, clothes, home goods, etc.  If you're unfamiliar with Fair Trade, look it up *here*.  It's a pretty amazing way to help out communities.  The gist of Green Heart is they sell handcrafted goods made by people from all over the world.  The workers are all volunteers & the money goes back to helping that community from which the item came.  I bought a supercute bracelet from India for $10!  If you're in the Chicago area, definitely stop by.  

After brunching & walking around, we went back to my apartment and relaxed a little bit before my mom left to go back to WI.  Oliver & I love when she comes to visit, and we're both in agreement that her visits are always too short.   

On Sunday, I went to my happy place, and boy did it feel great :-) Especially after my 10 mile run on Friday.  

Yesterday, hubs treated me to my first ever Superdawg experience!  I've lived here for over 3 years, and have never had Superdawg.  This year, I put it on my Summer 2011 to do list and we finally got to it yesterday.  The concept of it is a lot of fun.  It's a drive-in where they bring the food to your car :-) The hotdog was good, but I've had better in Chicago.   

Last but not least, I've hopped back on the "Say It, Do It" train.  So here's this week's workout line-up. 

Monday: Rest day (aka-very busy day!)
Tuesday: Run 4 miles + abs
Wednesday: Run 3 miles + upper body
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: REST!
Saturday:Lake Country 1/2 Marathon!!
Sunday: Rest :-) & enjoy Carried Underwood at Ravina, thanks hubs! 

I hope everyone's having a great week so far! I'll be back tomorrow with my 2nd "Wedding Wednesday" post. You can read the first one *here*.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wedding Wednesday {On Thursday}...Getting Ready for the Big Day

I meant to have this post up last night after work.  When I got home, I made dinner, ate and crashed on the couch :-(  It was a very unproductive night, but my body really needed the rest.  So here's my first Wedding Wednesday post: Getting ready for the big day.  We got married on a Sunday, a day in which not a lot of salons are open.  The place where my Milwaukee stylist works was open, but they didn't open until 11 or so and I knew that was not going to work.  So I brought 3 of the best hairstylists I know to my parents house and we all got ready there.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  It was so relaxing.  My mom made egg casseroles & fruit and my bridesmaids made mimosas.  The time that I got to spend with my bridesmaids & my family is something that I will always cherish. 

Getting Ready for the Big Day
I was determined to have the most care-free morning...

 Filled with lots of laughter & good times...

 In a room with people that I loved and that meant the world to me.

I wanted to be able to chat with my girlfriends...
and enjoy a beverage to calm any existing nerves before that walk down the aisle.

I wanted to be free to do my own make up and to look like myself to some degree...

But I knew that there was help there in case anything went awry. 

voilĂ !
*To all my family & friends, thank you for helping me look & feel fabulous that morning :-) And to my wonderful photographer, Olga Thomas, for capturing those priceless are a true artist with an amazing talent*

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby!

On Saturday, I drew my first ever ice bath.  I did this because I haven't ran 8 miles since my last 1/2 marathon in October and my mileage increase was pretty sudden.  I wanted to be able to walk on Sunday, and the fact that my legs were already hurting me after my run told me that something needed to be done ASAP.

I've always read that icing after long runs works wonders for your muscles.  After I got up on Sunday and walked 3 miles to the Air & Water Show, I'm a definite believer in ice baths.

Here's what I did:
-I filled our tub up just enough to cover my legs with cold water(our "cold" isn't very cold at all, it's more of a room temp/cold).  
-After the tub was filled to where I wanted it, I got in (with swimsuit bottoms!) and a sweatshirt and dumped one big bag of ice into the water and on top of my legs.  I was very surprised at how refreshing this felt!  I sat in there for about 15 minutes.  

Benefits of ice baths
-Reduces recovery time
-Reduces muscle pain/soreness (inflammation)

You can read in more detail here about ice baths and how it works on your body.  
I'm off to taste test some flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I made :-) I hope they taste as good as they smell!  I'll be back tomorrow with the first "Wedding Wednesday" post!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where do the Weekends Go?

Happy Monday {if there's even such a thing}!  Mine got off to a rocky start, but I'm trying to not let it affect the rest of my day. (Sidenote: right after I wrote this, my Synergy juice fizzed all over my desk and my dress. I didn't realize you're not supposed to shake them and keep them refridgerated. On the upside, I'm thankful I chose to wear black today.) Sadly, the weekends always go by so quickly but my mom's coming for a visit on Saturday so that gives me something to look forward to. Also, an old co-worker and I have a margarita date on Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to that!  I like when I have mid-weeks plans because it helps break up the work week.

On Friday, I went to Bar Method after my 1/2 day of work and then headed off to the social security office to officially change my last name.  I guess changing it on Facebook isn't good enough?  I'm not too crazy about becoming a very common last name, BUT I am happy about the fact that my initials won't change and hubs pointed out the fact that I will move up in the alphabet...

After the name change, I went and got my first ever Chicago hair cut at Aniko Salon & Spa.  I was very nervous going into it because, like I mentioned in a previous post, for as long as I've lived in Chicago, I've always gone back to WI to get my hair cut.  But James did a wonderful job on my hair!  And man, can men stylists give awesome head massages!?!  My hair is not easy to cut, and he did use some new techniques that my former stylist had never done.  But I'm very happy with the result and I will be going to him from now on.  It's much easier to get to a hair salon two blocks away from where I live as opposed to two hours.    

On Saturday, I completed my first long run of this 1/2 marathon training :-/ (8 miles) and sat in my first ice was extremely cold but very necessary.  My legs were already killing me after my run and I knew that if I didn't do something, I would be paying for it on Sunday.  After ice bath, I made myself some blueberry protein pancakes...       
And uploaded over 1,000 wedding pictures!!!  Our photographer sent us our wedding pictures this weekend and I love every sigle one of them!  It's going to be so hard to decide which ones we want to print off and put in frames.  I will be sharing them on my blog starting Wednesday.  Every Wednesday, starting this week and ending whenever, will be called, "Wedding Wednesday" and will highlight different aspects of the day.  Seeing the pictures makes me want to re-do the whole day over again.  The planning? Not so much.  

On Sunday, LC and I took someone else to get a haircut...

Then the three of us ventured over to the lakefront to catch a glimpse of the Air and Water show.  The weather was perfect, but it was sooo hot in the sun.  Honestly, I'm ready for Fall.  I know people think I'm crazy when I say that, but I can only handle so much of summer.     

Friday, August 19, 2011

No Shower Power Hour

Happy Friday friends!  Last night I ended my very active day (5 mile run & 2 mile walk) with a much needed yoga session sponsored by the wonderful peeps at Lululemon & led by Jen Enders from Yoga Now.  

Every Thursday in the summer, Lululemon sponsors a yoga event at Oak Street beach called, "No Shower Power Hour".  Yoga on the beach?! I'm there!  I've been to various yoga events sponsored by lulu (herehere), and they never dissapoint.  My favorite one is still Vino and Vinyasa at the W Hotel.  

Pros of "No Shower Power Hour"  
-It's free!
-Sponsored by a great company
-get you outside to enjoy the summer before it's gone
-it's on a beach; the crashing waves definitely help with relaxation
-taught by awesome instructors

-lack of knowlege from the Oak Street beach staff. I got there early & they told us it was canceled.  I called lululemon just to make sure.  It wasn't.
-limited mats.  Luckily I got there early enough to get one, but I will make sure to bring my own next week, just in case.
-the instructor was hard to hear.  Because it was outside and they had other events going on, it was hard to listen to what Jen was telling us.  But I made it work.

Overall it was a good yoga class and just what these tight hips & calves needed.  Jen was a really great teacher and I will be taking a class at Yoga Now in the near future.  After yoga, my friend and I ate dinner at Oak Street Beach.  I ordered the fish tacos and was not impressed.  They were okay, but I've had better.  The fish was chopped up like tuna and they were kind of bland.  

Today I have a date with the bar, I'm working on making the whole name change thing official other than on facebook :-) and I'm going to get my hair cut!!!!!!!! I've lived in Chicago for 3 years and have never had my hair cut here.  I usually go to my stylist in Milwaukee whenever I go back for a visit (she's been working on this mane since high school), so I'm definitely branching out of my comfort zone and I'm a wee bit nervous :-/  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Update

 I know it's only Tuesday, but I have a feeling that this week is going to fly by.  I'm very excited because I have no plans to leave Chicago, a rarity for me these days.  Last weekend, I was in WI for my friend's bachelorette party.  I rode a mechanical bull for the first time.  It was a ton of fun!  Her bachelorette party had a rodeo theme to it and my girlfriends did a great job of sticking to it.  

Last night, LC made salmon on the grill.  This summer, he's been really into grilling and I've been loving it.  It his first time grilling salmon and he pretty much got it right on target.  I made mashed sweet potatoes with garlic, carmelized onions, and goat cheese (they were to die for). 

Recipe for Mar's mashed sweet potatoes
3 sweet potatoes
4 oz. goat cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1 sweet onion
1 tbsp olive oil

*Place baked potatoes in the oven for about an hour.  While they're cooking, peel and chop the onion.  Heat up the olive oil and cook the onions on a lower heat setting until they get to be nice and brown (about a 1/2 hour).  Once the potatoes are done, take then out of the oven and let them cool for a bit.  Peel them and place in a bowl.  Mix in the goat cheese, onions and garlic.  Place in a serving bowl.  (I put mine in the microwave last night for about a minute to get them extra hot). Enjoy!!

Tonight I'm scheduled to run 5 miles...the longest run I've had throughout this marathon training :-/  I'm going to pay for it the day after, I just know from previous experience.  My friend, who's also running the 1/2 with me, and I set out to run 8 miles on Saturday but got caught in a rainstorm at about mile 2.  I was going to try and run 8 on Sunday but my shoes were still soaked and my head was still recovering from all of that bull-riding fun :-/ So I opted for a nice little walk instead.  I know this race won't be my best, but I'm happy to be running it.  My ankle sprain took forever to heal and I didn't think I'd be doing any races this year.

I have some exciting news to share with you all!!!  Maybe the picture below will give you a little hint of some exciting posts that are coming your way ;-) 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Run in Pictures

I promise to get back to a regular blogging schedule next week.  This week has been muy loca.  On Tuesday I had a hard time sleeping, so instead of just laying there in frusteration, I got up and went for a super early (5am) run down Michigan Avenue.  North Michigan Avenue is a completely different place at 5am.  It's peaceful.  It's an easy run.  It's great for window shopping.   
(Birthday present? Yes please.) 

Tiffany & Co. Window. Simply delicious.

Marilyn Monroe Statue. This thing is massive.

Sunrise over Chicago River. I had to stop and pause to appreciate the view and realize just how lucky I am to live in this awesome city. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One Fish, Two Fish

Thursday already?  This week is flying right on by.  The fact that I was off of work on Monday & I have a 1/2 day tomorrow might have something to do with it.  This weekend, LC and I are headed north for drill and to enjoy some Wisconsin State fair goodness :-) I can't wait for a roasted corn :-) 

Last night my friend Courtney and I went to Jazzin' at the Shedd.  It's a music event hosted by The Shedd Aquarium where you can listen to live music, sip fancy drinks, and walk around the aquarium.  It's $12 to get in & if you pay an extra $6, you also get admission to the special exhibits.  Not too bad considering the regular price of admission.  I'm so glad we went to this because I've been wanting to see the jellyfish exhibit since I first saw it advertised and it was pretty amazing.  With the music they play in the exhibit, I could sit and watch those things all relaxing!

This morning, I woke up pretty early and full of energy {which was a surprise considering the two delightfully strong cocktails that I enjoyed the previous night}.  Since I had a lump removed from the left side of my torso on Monday, I decided to take it easy and stick to a 3 miler.  I had to change up my normal route because of Lollapalooza, but it was a good change, because I got to enjoy this view and appreciate the fact that I live in such an awesome city :-)
I finished 3 miles in about 32 minutes.  One thing that I want to work on, when it comes to running, is my speed.  I can outlast my hubs when we go on runs together, but when it comes to sprints, he's definitely got me beat.  I've got great endurance when it comes to distance, but I'm slow.  I know a lot of this had to do with pushing myself outside my comfort zone, which I need to start doing.  But to be honest, I have no idea on where to begin to make times faster.  Any runners have any ideas?  I'm off to start packing for WI and to make some dinner.  Enjoy your Thursday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Updated Blog Address

So I decided to simplify my life and the lives of others.  Whenever anyone {mainly my family} asks for my blog address, there's always a mix up somewhere and they can't get to it.  So I decided to change the address from to :-) Easy peasy.   

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sprinkles for Everyone

Well, I survived my minor medical procedure today.  The  worst part of the whole thing was the numbing shot...and the fact that it's starting to ware off right now.  They're going to send it to pathology & I'll get the results next week.  Both of my doctors don't think it's anything serious, just want to double check though.

After my appointment, LC and I grabbed some lunch at the Cheesecake factory.  We snacked on my favorite appetizer...Avocado egg rolls!! YUMMM!!!
 For my meal I ordered the *lunch* portion of the BBQ chicken salad, minus the fried onion strings.  I couldn't believe this was the lunch size because it was HUGE!!! I didn't even eat 1/2 of it. 
After our lunch at Cheesecake Factory, we decided to take a walk over to Sprinkles :-) LC had never been there, so I wanted to take him for his first ever experience.  He ate a red velvet (which is one of their most popular flavors) and I had a lemon cupcake.  We also decided to bring one home for our little guy.  That's right, Sprinkles sells cupcakes for dogs.

He wasn't sure of it at first, but he ended up loving it so much that he wanted to eat the wrapper!!  Now we're sitting on the couch with full tummies catching up on Giuliana & Bill and the Real Housewives.  Not too bad for a Monday :-)