Travel Roundup: Chicago Edition


Oh, Chicago.

The Windy City is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places to visit. I often tell people that if I didn’t have an amazing job, with an organization I adore more than anything, I would probably be living somewhere in the Chicago area by now.

I’ve spent a lot of time in this city. My first trip was in 9th grade, when our band went to play at some national competition. Then in high school I had a “boyfriend” (I use the term loosely, because looking back now, he definitely wouldn’t fit what 34-year-old me defines a boyfriend as) who lived outside the city. My girl Jamie and I would sneak off (literally sneak off—I lied to my parents about where I was headed every time we took a trip) to the city every month for a long weekend. I fell in love with the architecture, the buzz of excitement that’s present in any big city, the culture, the food, and the places. (I never fell in love with the boy I was running off to see, thank heavens, lol.)

Since then, I’ve made it a point to visit the city as much as I can, which unfortunately has become not-so-frequently the older I’ve gotten. But when my girl Ruth’s cousin invited us down to spend a long weekend at their place in the Chicago burbs, I immediately jumped on the opportunity and suggested we do it the weekend of my birthday.

This trip was a memorable one, because not only was it my birthday, but my mom came with us too, and she’d never been to Chicago before. We only spent two days total in the city itself, but we saw so much and did so much in those two days, and we created so many memories.

Here’s a peek at my time in the Windy City, and some of the things I enjoyed while I was there:

Millennium Park

Believe it or not, I’d only visited Millennium Park one time prior to this trip, and that was almost 10 years ago. My mom and I are both art junkies, and I knew she would love The Bean, as well as the other sculptures and stuff that are scattered around the area. So we got checked into our hotel, grabbed an Uber, and headed on over.

Winter appears to be the prime time to visit this spot, because it was pretty much deserted. We had fun taking some selfies at The Bean (see below for evidence, lol), and there were some really awesome sculptures there as well, made from recycled tires. I tried to convince Mom to hit the Art Institute with me for an hour, because we had time to kill, but she wasn’t having any of that, as she wanted to continue trekking around and see more of the city. Still, for anyone who hasn’t yet had the chance to visit Chicago, or if you have but just didn’t make it to Millennium Park, add this to your list of places to visit when you get around to it!

Greetings from The Bean!

Millennium Park Info ->
Art Institute of Chicago Info ->


The Magnificent Mile

I can’t visit Chicago and not wander around Michigan Ave. It was cold, it was windy, and we actually did a bit more Ubering than wandering around this time, but hey, we explored the mile none the less, and hit up some oldie but goodie spots, as well as a few new ones.

Let’s spend a minute talking about somewhere that’s just off the mile—and one of my most favorite spots in the city—Eataly.

It’s my own personal version of Italian Heaven. They have everything, from amazing desserts in their bakery, to Italian fare in their different mini-restaurants, to groceries, coffee, and more! I could literally spend hours in the place. This time around we had lunch there, which was a first for me. We decided to go with the restaurant upstairs that specializes in seasonal seafood and other seasonal Italian offerings, and boy was that a good decision! I indulged in a mushroom risotto, which was exceptional, and we also enjoyed some of the cauliflower and bruschetta as appetizers. We did some shopping after this, because whenever I get to Eataly, I have to stock up on delicious cheese from their cheese counter, and plenty of Lavazza coffee, which is my all-time favorite. And I have to indulge in an iced coffee from their bakery because it’s hands-down the best iced coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Water Tower Place is another spot that I must hit whenever I’m on the mile. It’s just a mall, with the same stores I can go to at home if I want, but I just love the place. We did a little shopping there, and spent some time in the Dr. Seuss Gallery, which is one of my favorite Chicago-exclusive places. I love the pieces of original art, and there are some that Seuss did that have a dark twist to them, which you can only see at the gallery. In my perfect  world, when I buy a house in 2019, I’ll get a piece of work from there to display proudly in my space.

Ice on the Chicago River.

I was relatively disappointed to see that the Hershey Store across from Water Tower Place closed down. I was there in 2012 on a birthday trip, and they made this ridiculously bomb cupcake for me (which I had to dance for … actually, my girl Shellie danced for it because I’m the introvert, LOL). However, there was a Sugarfina pop-up store in the old space, and we took some time checking that place out. I got a free box of mini champagne bears because it was my birthday, so that’s a plus, haha. The Ghirardelli Chocolate shop is directly across the street from there, and you can pack a tin full of as many pieces of chocolate as you can fit for $12, so away we went, into chocolate heaven for a bit. I love, love, love dark chocolate, and it’s always nice to have a mini stash at work, in case a sweet tooth should arise. 😉

Dylan’s Candy Bar is also right on the Magnificent Mile, and was literally 3 blocks from our hotel, so we had to make a pit stop there as well. I keep a few Dylan’s treats in my freezer at home, which I nosh on as a reward when I’m sticking to Paleo and working out regularly. The store has a bazillion kinds of their bars, as well as an actual bar attached, where you can get drinks with candy in them (not my style, but cool none the less). In addition, they have a whole section of retro candy, which is always fun to peruse. In an effort to not get too much of a sugar thing going, I didn’t get anything from Dylan’s, but just the smell alone when you walk into the store is reason enough to step in and take a look around when you’re in the city.

Lollipop, lollipop, ohhhh the fun at Dylan’s Candy Bar!

Dylan’s Candy Bar Info ->
Eataly Info ->
Water Tower Place Info ->
Sugarfina Info ->
Ghirardelli Chocolate Info ->
The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery Info ->
The Magnificent Mile Info ->


The Attractions

The best part of Chicago by far are the countless museums an other places to visit when you’re in the city. Being that Mom had never been there before, she had a few places she wanted to check out—The Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum. We only had one day to ourselves to really explore and do things, but we sprung for the Chicago City Pass anyhow, because it would get us into both those places, as well as three other attractions if we had time to get there. And it gets you VIP tickets to the different places, so it’s definitely worth the money ($100).

Our first stop was The Field Museum. After some technical difficulties at the gate (I felt awful for the employee, as his computer wouldn’t cooperate, and he was redder than a tomato from embarrassment by the time we got our tickets), we headed downstairs to check out the Underground Exhibit, which is my favorite part of that museum. It’s an exhibit that’s set up like you’re literally underground, showing what happens in the soil, the different bugs that reside there, and how everything below the grass works. The best part of this is the mechanical bugs that they have scattered throughout the exhibit.

Riding a bug in the Underground Exhibit.

Fun and random discovery I made while at The Field Museum? They now have credit card readers on the collectible penny machines. I was geeking out for a good few minutes. Also, you can buy all the pennies in the machine for only 3 bucks. I’m a collector of those flat little beauties, so I got a total of 16 of them from The Field Museum to add to my booklet.

Mom got to see Sue, which was something she’d wanted to do forever, and we also got to see the Lions of Tsavo, which the movie The Ghost and the Darkness was based on. So for my mom, that was a totally rad experience.

Side note, between The Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium is a hot dog cart. A genuine, authentic Chicago hot dog cart. And that’s where we had lunch that Friday, because let me tell you, nothing is better than having a Chicago dog when you’re actually in Chicago to enjoy it.

The Shedd Aquarium will forever me one of, if not my favorite, places to visit in Chicago. It’s always the same things there when I go, except for the special exhibits obviously, but I will never tire of walking around and looking at all the sea creatures that they have.

There were a few random moments of excitement for me at the Shedd this time around. First, the anaconda snake was moving in the cage this time, and she’s never been moving any of the other times that I’ve been there. I’m scared as hell of snakes, I have a legit phobia of them, but I’m always simultaneously terrified and fascinated when I get to see the anaconda in person.

Second, I got to touch the Lake Sturgeons, which I’ve done at our aquarium before, but it’s always a thrill for me, because I’m also terrified of lake fish. So making myself touch a big lake fish is a rush, lol.

Third, we got to see the Beluga whales, and that’s another thing that I don’t remember having done before when I was at the Shedd. Also, the dolphins were out, and they’re always funny and cute to watch.

Seahorse trash sculpture at The Shedd.

They had a bunch of amazing sculptures at the aquarium that were made out of trash and recyclable materials that are often found in our oceans and other bodies of water. The sculptures were beautiful, but of course the idea of that much trash and other disgusting items going into our water is a bit heartbreaking.

The Field Museum Info ->
The Shedd Aquarium Info ->
City Pass Info ->


The Food

LOL, food needs its own section, right? 😉

We checked out some fun restaurants, and a fun grocery store, when we were in the city, so I just wanted to highlight them briefly in the post.

For dinner on the night of my birthday, we headed to Texas de Brazil, which was just a few blocks from our hotel. None of us had ever been to one of these restaurants before, although we all three like to frequent Fogo de Chao, which is similar. In any case, the food was delicious, and the service was superb! We had a fantastic crew of wait staff who made the evening memorable with their humor. And they brought out some fun desserts at the end, with a nice “Happy Birthday” written on the plates, complete with a candle on one of them. If you like meat and spend a day preserving your appetite, you must give these guys a try when you’re in a town they’re in. My favorite was the bacon wrapped filet mignon. Yum!

We stumbled upon a Garrett’s Popcorn shop when we were out exploring, so of course we had to get some popcorn to enjoy while we were there. I love Garrett’s. Their cheese popcorn is to die for, and they have some specialty flavors going on right now, one of which is cheddar bacon. I grabbed a small bag of that and oh. my. stars. It was ridiculous, in the best of ways.

One tradition we have whenever we visit Ruth’s cousins is dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy. This time around we made it into a girls night, and we had so much fun! We always do the family style dinner when we’re there, so of course we ate way too much, but if you’re headed there, try their bruschetta bar, and their stuffed mushrooms. Also, the tiramisu … YUM! We tried Gigi’s butter cake too, but that wasn’t very impressive. I got some of the lemon ricotta cookies for my birthday treat, but again, those weren’t the most impressive either, at least not in my opinion. I wish they hadn’t of closed our Maggiano’s, but I love that it can be a special treat for me whenever I’m in town now.

Dinner at Maggiano’s!

Another place we like to hit up (although we now have one in Minnesota) is Portillo’s. Their Chicago dogs are amazing and their chocolate cake shake is to. die. for.  I’ve never tried their Italian beef sandwiches, but rumor has it they are also amazing.

We also visited Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market while we were out in the burbs with Ruth’s family. I’d never been to that particular grocery store, but I love exploring new ones, and this one was fantastic! It’s got so much Italian goodies, and we totally ransacked the bakery. Ruth’s cousin got me a cannolli cake from there for my birthday, and wow, wow, wow was that cake delicious! We also picked up some good cheese and olives from the deli to snack on. They have a food counter in the middle of the store, with all kinds of Italian goodies, though I didn’t indulge, as I was saving my appetite for Maggiano’s later that night. However, if you’re in Illinois and you’re looking for a good grocery store to check out, this one should get added to your list.

Texas de Brazil Info ->
Garrett Popcorn Info ->
Maggiano’s Little Italy Info ->
Portillo’s Info ->
Angelo Caputo’s Info ->


One last thing I need to do before I wrap this post up, is give a huge shout out to Pro Nails in Plainfield. I decided it would be fun to treat myself to a manicure since I was on vacation, and picked this shop at random, as it was close to where we were staying. What a great decision on my part, because they were amazing! My nails are killer, the woman who did them was insanely friendly and good, and the rest of the staff were wonderful as well.

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Dear @SouthwestAir

Living with anxiety is awful.

No matter what you do to manage it, it’s always there, simmering beneath the surface, ready to rear its ugly head at any moment.

In my case, it always presents itself when I fly.

Let me take you back about 10 years. I used to fly nothing but Delta. I loved them, they had direct flights everywhere, and I was totally happy with them. And then … they started cancelling my flights. Five trips in a row I had return flights cancelled at the last minute, and only in one instance were they willing to rebook me the same day to get home on time. It was during the last one of these flights that I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had in my life. I spent the entire three hours in the air hugging a pillow to my chest and clenching my teeth. After that, I decided I would never fly with that airline again, because I was tired of dealing with an airline that couldn’t get its shit together, didn’t have good customer service, and wasn’t accommodating for someone who suffered from flight anxiety.

The next time I had to fly, I went with Southwest. I was leery at first, because I knew about the whole Kevin Smith incident that had happened years before that. But, I read some reviews about the airline, and in addition to having good fares, I was sold on the whole two free checked bags thing. I have a tendency to pack the whole house, regardless of how long I’ll be away for or where I’m going, so not having to pay for my luggage was super appealing.

Choosing to fly with Southwest turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The fist time I flew with Southwest, I made a point of telling the gate agents that I had flight anxiety. They immediately gave me a pre-boarding pass so I could get on the plane ahead of the other passengers, and the flight crew went the extra mile to ensure that I was comfortable for the duration of the trip.

Since then, I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with this airline.

So today, I want to take a minute to send a word of thanks to everyone at Southwest, but especially the crew on flight 1854 from Minneapolis to Chicago on January 18, 2018. I was on this flight, with my mom and best friend, headed to Chicago to celebrate my birthday for the weekend. We happened to be flying on my birthday, and once the flight crew was aware of this, not only did I get a free birthday drink, but one of the attendants was awesome enough to send a birthday shout out and get the plane (or those people who were awake enough) to sing Happy Birthday. As always, Southwest let me pre-board for the flight, and the whole experience was great.

So thank you, Southwest Airlines, for recognizing the struggles some of us face when we have to go up in the air, and for going the extra mile to make sure all of your customers are satisfied, happy, and have the best experience ever when they’re in the air.


The Soundtrack of 2018 #SlayIn2018 #18in2018

Every great story has a great soundtrack to accompany it.

I’m a music junkie. I connect with songs better than I connect with people at times. It’s always been a big part of life for me.

Naturally, I felt like I needed a playlist for the new year. My Slay in 2018 playlist, as I’m calling it. (Aka the Soundtrack of 2018). It’s filled with songs that are inspirational, that I love, and that will forever make me remember this year and how awesome and powerful I know it will be.

I’ll keep adding to this as the year goes on. And you better believe this will been repeat whenever I can get it playing.

Slay in 2018.

Who’s with me?




My Word for 2018

I’ve always been great at setting life goals (and breaking resolutions, LOL), but I’ve never actually sat down and picked a word to represent the year for me. For the past few months I’ve connected with an amazing group of women through social media. Initially we met through Rachel Hollis’ Last 90 Days challenge, but now we’ve branched off into our own group, to keep the momentum going in 2018 and hold each other accountable when it comes to our goals.

A conversation came up in the group about picking a word to represent our year. I spent a bit of time thinking, couldn’t come up with anything, and then just kinda forgot about it. But on January 1, I woke up and for some odd reason, I knew immediately what my word for 2018 would be.


No, I don’t mean slay in a morbid fashion, lol. I mean slay, as in kick ass, take names, dominate, succeed in everything I set my mind to, and do amazing things this year.

I am going to slay in 2018. 

And I am going to slay in all areas …

Health and wellness.

2018 will be my year.

This is going to sound completely selfish, but it feels good to be able to focus all my energy and attention on myself, my goals, and bettering my life. This is one reason why I’m thankful I’m single and childless. I have a prime opportunity in front of me, and I’m going to grab it up and take advantage of it and use the next 12 months to make life even better than it is already.

In the words of Train…

“No more, countin’ down the hours, no more, wishin’ you were here, I stopped believin’ although Journey told me don’t, before I call it a day, maybe this’ll be my year…”





Hello, 2018.

A new year is upon us. This is always an exciting time in my eyes, because each new year is a clean slate of sorts. Sure, we can’t make anything that happened in the previous 365 days go away, but we can catalogue it, file it away on the appropriate shelf, and move forward.

I stopped making resolutions years ago. I never achieved anything, my momentum was gone by like, February, I always had the same cliche shit I’d focus on, and it seemed like every year I was just setting myself up to fail. Then one year I decided to put together a list of life goals. I was in a bad spot in life, desperately needed some direction, and it seemed like a great way to move forward. I actually got shit done when I did this, I accomplished things, and before long, I had my own tradition.

This year, I decided I was going to take things to a new level for myself. I have life goals (which I’ll get to in a minute), but I’m incorporating a few vision boards (I LOVE them!), journaling, another planner (because 2 isn’t enough, LOL), lots of lists, and some different exercises to help keep me intentional and mindful. I decided that 2018 is going to be my  year, and that means I’m going big or I’m going home.

I love setting life goals for many reasons, but more than anything, I love setting them because I’m continually trying to be the best version of myself. And the way to get there is by setting goals and working towards them.

So, without further ado, here are my 2018 Life Goals:

  1. Continue to work toward being healthy in all ways – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Since 2015, I’ve been on a journey to get healthy. I had some ups and downs over the last year, but I blew into 2018 63 pounds lighter than I was when I started this, and seven pounds away from being the lightest I have been since 2005. I’ve entered 2018 alive and kicking in this area: I have a nutritionist in place who creates nutritious, healthy Paleo meal plans for me to follow and I’m on a workout schedule that includes a combination of cardio, strength training, and yoga. I have a gratitude journal. I’m working on mindfulness. I’m making an effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I’m going to kill it in this area this year, and I’m so amped.
  2. Pay off my credit cards and eliminate frivolous spending. I’ll be completely honest here and say that I have some serious financial management issues. I tend to spend freely without thinking about the consequences, especially when it’s on a piece of magic plastic that I can just charge and charge and charge on without having to pay in full. Also, I have a horrible tendency to just go out and purchase shit I don’t need, because I’m bored and I want something to do. Starting in February, I’ll be using Dave Ramsey’s snowball method to start plowing through this debt. I don’t think I can knock it all out in one year, but I’ll have a good chunk of it gone by 2019. And when it comes to actual spending, I’m going to focus on differentiating between wants and needs. And eliminating the wants as much as possible.
  3. Try a new experience every month. I always make sure to have at least one fun life goal every year, and this is my fun goal for 2018. I want to branch out and try new things. Things that I ordinarily wouldn’t do (art class, for example). And who knows, maybe I can meet some cool people along the way too!
  4. Get a manuscript ready for publication. I’ve been working on this forever as well, but with my efforts to pay off debt, I will have quite a bit of free time on my hands, as I’ll be avoiding spending money. So, this will be the year that I get one of my fanfic stories polished up, rewritten, and prepped for publication.
  5. Stop trying to find a relationship and let one find me instead. For some reason, I decided to try the dating thing again in 2017. And it’s been, well … interesting, for lack of a better term. I’m not giving up by any means, but I am going to kill the lights on my online profiles and stop actively pursuing anything. Sometimes this shit is just too stressful, and quite frankly, I’d rather put my energy into myself and if something comes along that works, then that’s great. If nothing comes along, that’s fine too. I love my life exactly how it is. I don’t feel incomplete because I don’t have a significant other. And I’m at a point in my life where if I let somebody in, it’s because they make my life better, because it’s already pretty great, and I can’t make room for anyone who won’t bring something good to the table.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as excited or happy about a new year as I do about this one. It’s like there’s this extra buzz of excitement floating in the air around me. I feel like there are dozens of possibilities coming, like there are doors that will open and experiences awaiting and all kinds of greatness on the horizon.

I hope that 2018 brings everyone joy, love, peace, and prosperity.

Until next time…



Paleo Lifestyle: Days 16-23 #PaleoLifestyleDL


Hello all!

Clearly I suck at updating again this week. Lol.

I was thinking about this the other day, and in addition to being a bit busier right now, I think part of the reason I’m writing less is because things got easier after the initial 10 days or so of this. After the sugar withdrawal and the whole getting used to doing things a different way, I’ve run into far fewer struggles recently.

How nice though, I can share all kinds of accomplishments with you! 🙂

This is the final week of the lifestyle group, and I’m so thankful I signed up to do this and have stuck to it. I’m seeing and feeling SO MANY positive changes, and I never would have if I hadn’t mustered up the motivation to make a change. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit, and I’ve breached the 21 day mark when it comes to dissolving my unhealthy relationship with food. Now, that’s certainly not to say I’m done working at it. I’m not, not by a long shot. I have a LONG way to go down my road. But you know what? I’ll get there. And the journey along the way is going to be worth it.

Tonight I went out for dinner with friends and had my “refuel” meal. (P.S. – I love that Dani refers to them as refuel meals versus cheat meals. Just that simple wording change morphed the way I look at the meal itself. It’s not a time to gorge oneself, it’s a time to make a small deviation from the norm.) I went to Applebees and was able to make a healthy, mindful decision for a meal, without worrying about if it was going to totally ruin all my hard work. This is the first time I’ve gone out for a sit-down meal since starting this lifestyle, and it was great to be able to do so without falling off the wagon. Also, the people I was with are supportive, and that means so much to me and it really does matter.

Another bit of excitement since I last wrote — I reached my first goal on my journey to a healthier me. I have a list of 15 goals, both numeric (goal weights) and non-numeric (ex: fitting into a pair of jeans I haven’t fit into for a year) that I’m using to benchmark my progress on this journey. The first goal was a numeric one, a weight I was working toward (still not quite comfortable enough to share that with y’all yet), and last week I hit it! I got a tall Starbucks almond milk latte (yum!) to celebrate. And I can’t wait until I hit my next goal (which I’m hoping will happen before or by Thanksgiving).

When I wrap this first 4 weeks up on Sunday, I’m going to do a bit of a longer post about the great things I’ve noticed. (And I might include some photos — eek!) So for today, I’ll stick to my usual format.

The Good:
* Pounds lost! Hooray!
* No sugar cravings!
* I’ve been making it a point to get some form of exercise in every day (part of my #Last90Days challenge). You have no idea how great my body feels! And I’m killing it with my step goals as of late.
* Even though I’m not tracking calories specifically, I still use My Fitness Pal to log everything I’m eating (helps hold me accountable) and to track my water intake and weight. For the last 3 weeks I’ve had a calorie deficit every day (and more of one when I work out). This means that I should continue to lose weight at a steady pace.
* I found a super yummy looking Paleo pumpkin muffin recipe that I’m going to make when I’m on vacation at a friend’s house next week. My own little Halloween treat!
* Compliments! I’ve gotten complimented on how good I look, how much slimmer my face looks, and on how proud of me people are for sticking to this.
* My gut is LOVING me.
* I haven’t had any back issues since I started eating like this! I think that’s because some of my issues stem from inflammation, and this particular method of eating helps to curb that naturally.
* ENERGY!! You guys, seriously, it’s crazy! Prior to starting eating better, I would wake up, smack my snooze button a zillion times, slide out of bed and try to get through my morning routine without falling asleep on myself. I felt so sluggish, I was tired all the time at work, I had trouble concentrating, and when I got home at night all I wanted to do was sit in my chair and loaf. It’s not like that anymore! I get up and I get straight out of bed, and the first thing I do is make myself a cup of coffee and breakfast. (Thank you, Dani, for encouraging us to eat within 15 minutes of rising.) I’m alert, I feel refreshed (because I’m also sleeping better!!), and b y the time I shower, I’m ready to get going on my day. When I’m at work, I’m yawning less, getting more done, and able to focus on things. And the best part, when I get home, I want to go out and walk or go to the gym. I find myself asking my roommate every day if she’s ready to go out for our nightly walk, or if she’s ready to go to Snap and do some lifting, because I have energy to burn. Tonight I wanted to go further on our walk, and that never happened before. It feels so great to get back to a place where I want to be active and where I’m finding ways to get active. I can’t wait to see what I feel like in another 5-6 months.

The Struggles:
* I’m telling you, my workplace is like a dessert party. So continuing to practice avoidance has been tough at times. Like last week in an upper management training, people were passing around a bag of the mini Hershey chocolate bars. You have no idea how much self control it took to pass the bag without taking something out of it.
* Timing meals continues to be an issue for me, especially on weekends. I did good this past weekend though, because I wrote down my eating schedule each day. I’m trying to keep things as constant as I possibly can.

Honestly, I don’t really have any other struggles going on now!

I’m going to be entering the next round of the 30 day lifestyle starting in November, but I plan on continuing this on my own when I’m on my trip next week. I’ve got menus ready, groceries ready, and a nice supporting group of friends around me.

Cheers to the rest of the week being great and all of us working to be the best version of ourselves.

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Days 8-15 #PaleoLifestyleDL

You guys.

I suck at updating!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way…

In all honesty, last week was crazy busy! I had a zillion things going on at work, and then when I got off I had more to do, and by the time I got home, had dinner, and was ready to blog … I was tired and fell asleep.

This won’t be a super long entry, cause I’m getting ready to climb into bed now. Last week went really well! I went out of town for the weekend, and I prepped in advance, brought all my meals with, and cooked them when I was away. We went out for one meal and I stuck with what falls into the Paleo category, which I was proud of myself for, because in the past restaurants have been my weakness.

Actually, last week was WAY easier in terms of avoiding sugar, and the sugar withdrawal symptoms are gone! (HOORAY!)

I’m seeing results too! I’m down 16 pounds (booyah!), and I did a 2 week measurement today and I’ve lost 2 inches in my chest and waist. My pants are a little looser, which makes me happy. Now I’m thinking that I’ll post a list of my non-numeric mile markers sometime this week, so that I can look back on that and keep track of my progress.

On another note, I started this cool #Last90Days “challenge” of sorts last week as well. The idea is to spend the last 90 days of the year being the best version of myself, doing good things for myself, and ramping up to have an amazing 2018. Check the hashtag out on social media, and start to expect a few posts about that challenge as well.

And now…

The Good:
* Weight loss! I honestly try not to obsess over the number, but I am happy that I’ve dropped some. The goal is to get healthy all around, and weight does play a factor in this.
* I’ve been drinking a TON of water lately. My body feels so good! Seriously, my skin looks better, my gut feels better, I feel better.
* As I said above, my gut feels so much better than it did two weeks ago! I’ve been struggling with some digestive issues for a few years (pretty sure I have IBS), and I haven’t had many, if any, problems in these last few weeks.
* I haven’t had any of the usual back pain that I experience in the last two weeks either. I think that a lot of that comes from inflammation, and Paleo helps with that.
* I haven’t caved and had any sugar!

The Struggles:
* Muffins and cupcakes at work today. I wanted one.
* I’m in the week leading up to Aunt Flow, and I struggle with CONSTANT cravings for sweets and salt. It hasn’t been quite as bad this time around, but I’ve still been jonesing for some chocolate.
* Timing meals is still difficult at times, but I’ll get the hang of it eventually.
* I need to spend more time working out. I always come up with excuses and quite frankly, it’s time to stop doing that. Time to commit to 5 days a week.

I’ll get back to being consistent with this now. And I’m going to start getting a bit more content up on the blog moving forward too. 🙂

Until next time…

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