Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful 5 day weekend and feel like I haven’t been at work in weeks! I didnt take many pictures this weekend, and decided to just enjoy the family time instead.  

Our weekend started on Wednesday. We noticed the refrigerator didn’t feel very warm and it turns out it was 57 degrees. We called a repair man and it would have cost $300 to fix it. Our fridge is 16 years old so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a new one. We spent a long long time in Home Depot deciding. I’m excited to have a new one on Tuesday! 

Thanksgiving was a fun and busy day! We hosted Jim’s family and then went to my aunt’s house after that. We were able to get our old fridge to come back to life so thankfully were still able to cook. It was really fun hanging out with our new niece!  

Friday morning I met my mom bright and early for some Black Friday shopping! We have been doing it for a long time, and we just go to Carson’s. It is always fun to kick off the Christmas shopping season! 

Then we went to New Buffalo for the weekend with my mom and brother! We rented a really cute house, and did lots of eating and relaxing. It was just what I needed. I found our house on Home away  and we were really happy with it! I loved the beach house theme and the rustic touches. 

Kitchen and eating area 

Jim’s pride and joy- Bourbon County Stout… Only one of the many he got!


Living area  
Living area 

Second bedroom

  Master bedroom  
Sunday afternoon we decorated for Chrismas! I am so excited that the holiday season is here!  


Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle Over the Holidays 

The holiday season is upon us! I absolutely love the stretch from October to January because of all of the festivities, family, friends, and fun! It is easy to just let loose and forget about health, especially from Thanksgiving to New Years. It’s not worth it though! Trust me… I’ve done it.
Two years ago, I threw all caution to the wind and just ate and drank with abandon. I continued to work out, but no amount of exercise can offset mass quantities of desserts, wine, and delicious appetizers. I found myself at my highest weight ever that January, and going wedding dress shopping! I made some changes and lost a lot of weight, but it was hard work! I learned that no matter how fun it is to eat and drink whatever you want for 2 months, it’s not worth it!

 Here are some things that work for me to maintain my weight and health goals, and not feel deprived.

Nothing is Off Limits

The minute I tell myself I can’t have something, I immediately want it.  I used to tell myself I couldn’t have specific foods or desserts, and then I would feel deprived, and crabby.  Now I know that I can eat everything I want, but in..


This is the biggest key to not going overboard and gaining weight at the holidays.  I know that I can eat whatever I want at a specific party, so I choose what looks the very best and take a small portion of everything that I want.  I fill up one plate of food, and one small plate of desserts, and that’s it.  I try to not get seconds of things unless I truly am hungry.

Slow Down and Stop Before I Feel Full

I hate feeling overly stuffed after a decadent meal.  It makes me feel bloated and gross.  I check in with myself as I am eating and make sure to eat slowly.  I also make a conscious effort to put down my fork and enjoy the conversation.  As soon as I feel satisfied, I stop.


This is Not My Last Meal Ever. 

I like to remind myself that these delicious mashed potatoes, or chocolate chip cookies, or this glass of red wine will indeed be consumed again by me in the future.  This isn’t the last time I will have this food, and probably very soon again during the holiday season, I will eat something similar.  This also goes along with the “nothing is off limits” mentality.  If I think that tomorrow I will start being super healthy and this is my last day of eating badly, then I go overboard.  If I think that I will have more treats in the very near future, it helps me to eat moderately.


Eat Healthy During the Week

Of course over the holidays there are plenty of parties and get togethers, but there are lots of regular days thrown in there too.  I make sure I eat super healthy during the week, especially at work, when I can control what I am packing for my lunch.  I resist the treats at work, and only eat what I packed for myself.


Drink Water! 

In between alcoholic drinks at a party, I always make sure to have a glass of water.  This helps me to stay hydrated, and also helps me to drink less in general.  It takes a while to drink a glass of water!


Eat Veggies With Every Meal

I always try to make sure I have some veggies with every meal, whether it is at a party, at a restaurant, or at home.  This keeps at least part of the plate healthy.


Stay Active

I still maintain my activity level during the holidays.  It is tempting to think that I will just worry about it in January, but it’s not worth it.  Even a small amount of exercise each day goes a long way.  If I am off of work, I will mix it up and go to a yoga class with a friend, or go for a run on a new route.  I also keep the mentality that “Something is better than nothing”.  I used to think that if my workout wasn’t torching hundreds of calories and at least 45 minutes long, it wasn’t worth it.  Now I realize that even a quickie workout is good for the body!

Happy Holidays!!




I have so much to be thankful for this year! Here are just a few reasons I feel blessed to have the life that I do. 


Obviously this guy is my number one reason I’m thankful! He is my partner and my friend. We have so many fun times together. He has been my rock during some really hard times and I am forever greatful for this. I can’t wait to become a family of three with him in two months and navigate parenting together!  


Words can’t even express how thankful I am for my family. Both of our families are wonderful and I feel so lucky that we live so close to both families and are able to spend holidays with everyone.  My mom and little brother are two of my best friends and I would be absolutely lost without them. 


Most of my friends I met in college and we’ve remained close ever since. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we would like, we pick right back up where we left off every time.  

My job 

My teaching job is challenging every day, and it can sometimes be quite stressful. I enjoy the challenge and like being kept on my toes. I have an amazing class this year and am so thankful to be in a good school in the city! 

Yoga and running 

Although I’m on a hiatus from running, I still love it. Yoga has been my go-to workout during pregnancy. The combo of running and yoga keeps me healthy and does wonders for my stress levels. If I didn’t work out I would be a crabby, stressed out lady!  

 Healthy pregnancy 

I am thankful to be healthy! It is amazing what your body can do- carry a baby and teach 6 and 7 year olds all day! I am happy that I have had a relatively easy pregnancy and still feel pretty good at 31 weeks preggo!  I am beyond thankful I am pregnant! I expected it to be a long journey to getting pregnant and was shocked by how lucky I was that I happened easily. 

Coffee, tea, and dessert

It sounds silly but these things have been my favorites during pregnancy. Many evenings we would have a glass of wine to end the day, but now I have a sweet treat and some decaf tea.  I have eaten a dessert every day of pregnancy. While this sounds crazy, I think it’s all about balance. Sometimes that dessert is a small piece of dark chocolate, and sometimes it is a more decadent dessert. Even a tiny treat makes the day feel happy to me!   

This blog

I am so glad I started this blog! It has been so fun to get some words out. I hope to increase my posting in the future. I am thankful for my readers who faithfully read all of my posts!! 
I hope everyone has a great holiday week and takes a few minutes to be thankful this week! 


This Week

This week was a doozie! We had parent teacher conferences, I had a formal observation the morning after conferences, and I’m sick! This week was all about survival mode. I barely worked out, our house is a mess, and the refrigerator is empty. But I worked my butt off to get everything ready for conferences and my observation. I’m hoping to catch up on life this weekend and get better as well. Right now I barely have a voice! I’m so excited that next week a short one because I love the holiday season! I hope everyone has had a good week, and I’ll be back to my regular blogging next week. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some tea and honey for my throat :-) 


Friday Peaks of the Week

This week has been a good one! We had Wednesday off for Vereran’s Day and today I have a conference about reading! I love when the schedule is broken up with different things here and there! Here are some Peaks of the Week! 


It’s no secret that I love coffee! I don’t have a problem with the red cups, and love getting a latte once a week as a treat! 

A day with my mom

On Wednesday I had a doctor’s appointment and my mom took the day off to hang out with me! We went to lunch at the and did some shopping. It was amazing!  

Shopping, shopping, shopping for baby!

We have been buying a ridiculous amount of things for baby lately. Most of it is all necessary, but I also bought a few fun things as well! 

The little bears are too cute! 

Physical Therapy

I started going to physical therapy for my back this week and will go twice a week for 6 weeks. So far I think it has helped a little. The massage definitely helped relax everything and my physical therapist sent me home with some exercises and stretches to do. I am so happy to have some relief! 


Pregnancy Week 28 Updates


Baby’s Size

Baby is the size of a papaya and is between 13-15 inches long.  He weighs between 1.5 and 2.2 pounds
Weight Gained

Total gained so far: 17 pounds

Week 28- 1 pound


This week was a doozie of a week in terms of how I felt. I woke up Monday morning with some cramping.  I figured I would wait a while and it would go away but it didn’t.  So I took a sick day, and went to the doctor.  She couldn’t really figure out why I was having these symptoms, but told me to rest.  The cramping continued throughout the day and night.  Then starting Tuesday, my back started killing me.  I had back problems since high school, so my back has been bothering me on and off throughout this pregnancy.  This pain, however, is much worse than before.  It is very common, and my back and legs hurt.  It is not pleasant, though! I am starting physical therapy today, and hope that helps a little bit.  I have also been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions in addition to a little cramping.  I guess my body is really telling me to slow down!!


Basically none.  I did a little prenatal yoga and stretching, but that’s it this week.  I’m hoping to feel better this upcoming week so I can get back to a little activity.

Food Aversions


Food Cravings


Baby-related purchases

We have been going crazy getting the nursery ready!  We bought a shelf, a tapestry, and drawer pulls for his room.  I also completed my baby registry this week.  We bought a crib mattress, a diaper genie and a video monitor.
Week 28 Milestones

We took a newborn care class this weekend.  It was very informative, and I am definitely glad we went.  The nurse who taught the class talked a lot about SIDS, and I feel knowledgeable enough to hopefully not be a total stress ball when he first comes home.  It was funny to see adults holding baby dolls throughout the whole class.  I felt bad leaving the baby on the table so everyone was holding the doll the whole time.  It was also really fun to see Jim practice changing a diaper and getting ready to be a dad!


 Looking forward to:

Finishing decorating our nursery.  We have it set up, but still need to finish decorating and putting the finishing touches on.

Fun Stories

For the last few Fridays, we have been trying to go out to dinner and enjoy the freedom we will not have again for a long time.  It has been nice exploring our neighborhood and revisiting some of our favorite restaurants. We went to a French restaurant this Friday, and had a delicious meal! 



Friday night Jim and I went to dinner at Fountainhead. Fountainhead is one of our favorite local spots, and in the summer they have an amazing rooftop. Fountainhead is located in North Center in Chicago. They serve American fare that always has a fun twist. Their beer menu is extremely large and rotates regularly based on many things, including the season. They also have plenty of cocktails and a large wine list. Although I wasn’t partaking in the drink menu this time, I was happy to order a yummy mocktail.  Jim ordered a beer but I don’t remember what it was! I know it was a sour beer though… One of his favorite types of beer at the moment. The lighting wasn’t very good for picture taking!


We started wth the pub cheese as an appetizer and it was delicious!

After the appetizer, we browsed the menu. I was already starting to get full so I didn’t want a huge meal. I decided to go with the mussels and frites. Jim got fried chicken with mashed potatoes. Both were excellent! I really loved Jim’s mashed potatoes. I would order the chicken in the future just to get those potatoes!

Pub Cheese



Fried chicken and potatoes

In the past, we would have stayed for more drinks, but times have changed, so we headed home and watch Interstellar.  All in all, a good Friday night!


You just worked hard for the past hour in your yoga class. You are sweaty, your muscles are tired, and you are proud of yourself for pushing yourself both physically and mentally. Now it is time for one last pose- savasana. You lay down, and start to try to turn off your mind. But your mind starts racing. Your body can’t even become still. You think about the sweat bead you feel trickling off your head. You think about the person next to you, wondering if he is laying perfectly calm and still. You think about your day, and everything you will need to do once you leave this yoga class. Suddenly, all you can think about is getting up. Sound familiar? Savasana is one of the most challenging poses in yoga. It seems that it should be the easiest. All you have to do is lay down and be still! However, this pose is challenging because it includes that tricky part- letting your thoughts go. While nobody can lay perfectly still with their mind empty of all thoughts, here are some tips to help make the pose work better for you so you leave your yoga class feeling challenged both physically and mentally, and calm positive.

  • Get comfortable. If laying flat on your back does not feel completely comfortable, lay on your side. Put a towel under your neck for support. Wipe your sweat off of your face before you begin so it does not bother you. Find the best position for you that helps you to feel relaxed and comfortable.
  • Check in with your body. Take a mental note of how your body feels. Are you tired? Sore? Exhilarated? Whatever you are feeling, notice it. Be okay with however you feel right now.
  • Focus on each section of your body, bit by bit. Start with your feet. Imagine relaxing them completely. Then move up to your legs. Release any tension in your legs and let them be completely still. Move up to your belly. Let it relax and breathe normally. Move to your arms. Let them melt into the ground. Move to your hands. Let go of all the tension in your hands and fingers. Finally check in with your face. If you are clenching your teeth or jaw relax your mouth. Let your cheeks relax. Let your eyes be still and closed. Let all of your body be still and calm.
  • Let the thoughts come into your mind. Let thoughts come into your mind, instead of trying to rid your mind completely of thoughts and ideas. When one thought comes in, notice it, and let it go. Imagine that it is going in your mind, and then imagine it leaving immediately after.
  • Repeat a phrase. Repeat the same phrase to yourself to focus on one thing. “Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just be”. “Peace, happiness, and strength”. Remind yourself of your intention that you set at the beginning of class, and repeat it to yourself.
  • Go to a happy place. If quieting your mind is not your cup of tea, go to your happy place. On the beach in the Caribbean, hanging out at a party with your closest friends, playing with your giggling, laughing child, or maybe getting a massage from Bradley Cooper. Whatever works for you!

Most importantly, remember that savasana is a time to be present, to soak up all of the good work you just did for your body and mind, and a time to relax and be happy!