Arnold Classic 2016

Hey Guys!!!

I am pretty embarrassed that it has been almost a solid month since I last blogged. To be honest I had two blog posts scheduled, one that never got published (even though I pushed publish) and another that I never completed because #life. But I am not here to make excuses just to say that this blog is my passion project and when I am not feeling passionate y’all suffer from reading anything life changing. But I am hoping to change that. I have some posts planned for you for the next couple weeks, one including a much needed recap on my Marc Megna training program.

But first lets talk Arnold Classic shall we…

The Arnold Classic

If you don’t know what the Arnold Classic is don’t feel bad, I didn’t know what it was either until about 3 years ago when I started dating Brent. Basically the Arnold Classic is the first major bodybuilding competition of the year, its where the major pros are and houses a TON of fitness competitions from Chess to Fencing to Cheerleading to Powerlifting and olympic lifting competitions, in addition to bodybuilding and figure competitions. Since the Classic is the first of the year and so big (the male winner of the Arnold often is favorited for Mr. Olympia), it houses a HUGE expo where fitness, nutrition and supplement companies come to launch their new products and promote their brand.

This year Kai Greene won the Arnold for the 3rd time, they had an indoor cycling competition for charity, pole dancing competition and jump rope contests. They also had a strongman competition where Eddie Hall deadlifted 1026# on the elephant bar, check out this youtube its pretty incredible!

Brent has been asking to go to the expo every year so for his birthday this year I got him tickets for three days of Arnold madness. Neither of us had gone before so were excited to see what it was all about, get some free stuff and have our minds blown.

Arnold Classic

Friday morning we go up BRIGHT and early to head to the expo around 8. We grabbed a quick breakfast at Einsteins and got in line to enter the expo, which opened at 9am. There was a line legit wrapping around the inside of the convention center and we anxiously waited with our 500000 other friends. Once we got inside we weaved through booths, crowds and grabbed samples as we wondered.

We really didn’t know what to expect, where to go, or what to do, so we mindlessly wondered, trying new things and talking to a few different people. Brent’s first stop was to Primeval labs to meet Jerry Ward and get his new product, BioS3. He was a super nice guy and was really great to talk to, Brent is pretty excited to check out his product. We spent about 5 hours wondering the expo checking out different supplements, brands and getting conned into a bench press competition (more on this later this week) before deciding that we were utterly exhausted and headed back to take a nap.

Brent & Jerry Ward

Brent & Jerry Ward

Friday night we headed to the Lifetime at Easton mall and got in a fun workout before heading to North Star Cafe for a fabulous dinner. I got a chicken and veggie Buddha bowl which was pretty dang amazing and a margarita, Brent got a black bean burger which was also freaking delicious and a beer. We headed home and crashed while watching the movie Home, which I will have to watch again because well I didn’t get very far 😉

Saturday started a little later, we took our time getting ready before heading to the expo. When we got to the convention center via Uber, much easier than driving and looking for parking, we were pretty amazed that the number of people there had multiplied from the previous day. First thing on our agenda was COFFEE, while you get tons of samples of different energy drinks and pre workouts at the expo I needed a real caffeine fix.

Arnold Classic

After coffee we headed into the expo and started on the opposite end from where we started Friday in an effort to hit up vendors we missed Friday. We waited in a few lines, grabbed a few supplements and then decided we should get in line to see Jay Cutler (the bodybuilder, NOT the football player). We spent the better part of two hours in line to see Jay and it was the best 2.5hours we spent all weekend.

Arnold Classic

Our conversation with him lasted maybe 60seconds it was really great to meet him, he is a very kind and humble guy, who asked us if he could give us an autograph and then spent the extra time to joke with us about his relationship status and competition plans. While I wanted to get out of line about 50 times before we got to the front it was really great to meet a guy who has made such an impact on the fitness and bodybuilding world.

Arnold Classic Arnold Classic

Sunday was our last day at the expo and it since it opened later we had time in the morning to leisurely get up, pack and get going without feeling rushed. We knew of a few places we really wanted to go to, booths that we had missed on Friday and Saturday. So we headed to those first, stood in a few short lines but only for vendors we really wanted to see, neither of us were up to staying in super long lines to get a few extra supplements when we had bags full in our car.

Arnold Classic Arnold Classic Arnold Classic

We stopped by the “The Cage” and watched a powerlifter do some serious work. We missed his squat but it was apparently pretty legit but saw him bench >500# and Deadlift >700# like it was nothing. It was pretty dang impressive to watch a 50year old guy pick up such heavy weight and do it with such pride. With that we headed to our car and made our way back to Ann Arbor to recover from a weekend of fitness bliss before heading back to Chicago today.

Day 1 Swag Stash

Day 1 Swag

Day 2 Swag

Day 2 Swag

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend (& past month), if you’re interested in going to the Arnold next year I would HIGHLY recommend going. It’s an experience you won’t regret!

Signature 2

Advertisements

Life Lately… Photo Style

Hi guys!! 

Life has been a bit busy the past two weeks, it’s amazing how quickly you forget what being out of town can take up so much of your time when you get back. Anyways we have been up to some fun the past couple weeks and I thought I’d share it here! 

Last weekend we headed to Michigan to see family and celebrate my & my aunts birthday. 

Saturday-

  
Camera class @ a local shop. Camera basics was a great intro and reminder of how to use camera settings. 

  
A quick shopping trip at REI for some birthday leggings, a treat from my Dad! ((The REI CO-OP leggings are THE BEST!!! seriously go buy them… NOW!))

  
Dinner and birthday gifts with Brent & my parents made for a perfect Saturday night! 

Valentine’s Day-

 Spin class sweat to start the day!!

  
Brunch with my extended family! So much food, so good! 

  Some quality time with my sweet neice, she is growing up so fast I can’t believe it!

A nasty drive home through snow followed by a FANCY valentines dinner of ((free)) Chipolte burritos & brownies. 

  
Work week filled with workouts, fitness and work. Nothing super exciting this week. 

Friday was a gorgeous day! I loved walking outside after my workout and having the sunshining  and not having to bundle up… Until the crazy winds hit ya in the face! 

  
Saturday started with a serious workout session. First an upper body max effort lifting session than a 60minute spin class. It was a fun double header at the gym! 

  
Brent & I took my car to get washed & we vacuumed out the inside, which was much over due. We also went and walked around a park to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather we had. 

  Dinner with friends Saturday night followed by a protein packed Sunday breakfast and a lazy productive remainder of the day. 

  We cashed in some wedding gift cards & bought a new coffee maker, so far we love it. 

Alright all caught up on our life the last two weeks. We have another couple busy weeks coming up but I hope to not drop off the face of the blogosphere. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@allisoninwellnessland) and snapchat (@mywellnessland) you should, I’m much more active there! 

XO~

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Hey!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! We enjoyed Thursday with our friends Chris & Kristina and their sweet little girl Brianna. It was so nice to spend the day with friends who have become family & eat ALL THE FOOD.

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Seriously guys we had so much food, I think everyone says that but when you make a turkey, ham & all the fixings in 9×13 pans to feed 4 people you have A LOT of food!

Brent & I had a lot of fun making food to bring for our dinner and had such a great sense of accomplishment to say that we helped make thanksgiving happen. Really we made a WHOLE thanksgiving meal to bring to our friends house, who were also making basically a whole meal!

Brent was in charge of the stuffing and ham. He made an awesome sausage butternut squash & herb stuffing that we all loved. It was similar to a recipe we had made a couple years ago and I think it’s my favorite thing ever. He found the recipe online but I am not 100% sure where, I’ll look for it and let you guys know!

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

I was in charge of the cranberry sauce & salad. I made an easy roasted brussel sprout kale fall salad which was delicious but I made WAYYYY too much and the leftovers didn’t save very well 😦 anyways the salad had roasted kale & brussel sprouts, pomegranate seeds, green apple, walnuts, goat cheese and romaine lettuce. I made a quick orange Dijon mustard vinegrette which was super good and super easy to make!

For the cranberry sauce I got a little adventurous and combined a couple recipes that I found on Pinterest to make my own delicious concoction.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:57]

You guys I was SO scared to make cranberry sauce, for some reason those little berries intimidated me (and still do) but this sauce was SO easy, flavorful and delicious on the turkey. It could easily become my favorite part of a holiday meal, when previously I would stray away from the cranberry sauce goo that comes from the can.

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Plus any recipe where wine is involved in cooking means wine for DRINKING too!! That’s my kind of recipe 🙂

Happy Holidays Friends! Here’s to some delicious food!

Signature 2

A Return To GPP

Hey guys & happy Tuesday! 

Do you ever feel like you just need a change, a break or to basically just start over? I am completely in that frame of mind right now, I’ve noticed that I’m unhappy with a few things in my life right now and find myself wishing for more, for change and education. 

Over the past few weeks when I go to the gym I’m unmotivated & feel pretty “blah” so I decided I would pick Fitness as my first place to start finding happy in my life. I look back on my fitness journey and know that I do the best when I’m constantly challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone SO I decided to take a 1 month GPP challenge & here’s why:

1. Feeling plateaued – I’ve enjoyed  focusing on lifting and lifting heavy however I feel like I’ve been focusing on the same lifts/movements TOO much and I’m no longer making gains. Similarly to eating the same food/calories/Marcos and expecting a change it just doesn’t happen that way. Our body’s are too good and adapt to the environment they are in and the best way to break plateaus is by CHANGING your routine & the best way I know how to do that is to focus on something else and get “secondary” strength gains by making OPTIMAL HEALTH my goal not pure strength! 

  

2. Feeling bored/unmotivated – as I said lately I dread going to the gym, I get there and enjoy some of my workouts but leave wanting more & not knowing what more to do so I end up leaving bored and feeling blah

3. Seeking a challenge – to piggy back off #2 I am feeling stagnant in our workouts and my creative juices aren’t flowing to add new exercises in, I LOVE that each day with GPP is a new challenge and I miss waking up and having something to tackle each day!

  
4. Feeling unbalanced – because of our workout, work & travel schedule I don’t feel like I am able to work ALL my muscle groups each week and often skip cardio & core due to time constraints. I love powerlifting and the feeling that you get from pulling/pushing a heavy weight but variety is the spice of life 😉

5. Chronic hip pain – I’ve pretty much always had some hip issues but the past 6 months or more, it has been getting more consistent. Thus resulting in me limiting my leg and lower body workouts and even having trouble with other lifts. I know that this tacks on to being unbalanced and having some general weaknesses… There’s a possibility that something more is going on, even though I have had an awesome PT check it out, but I think the bigger issue is not focusing on a push-pull-SQUAT-CORE movement during most/all of my workouts. My hip issues started shortly after I stopped doing GPP & Crossfit (which just isn’t in our budget to return to right now) so I am hoping that by returning to these balanced and challenging workouts that my body will bounce back and find the stabilization that it needs. Plus I’m only 27 there is no reason for me to have flipping hip pain! 

6. It looks good on! – if I look back at my last year of my fitness journey I felt the best about myself for the longest period of time when I was doing GPP consistently. Beyond looking & feeling good there is something about looking at a seemingly impossible workout and getting after it THEN feeling on top of the freaking world once you smashed it! 

  
So there you have it! A step in the direction that I need based on current goals and feelings in my life. I am pumped to get back to challenging functional fitness and push myself in ways that I haven’t been pushing in a while! Plus I miss my GPP friends and can’t wait to reconnect. 

I know that returning to these workouts are going to be challenging mentally and physically which is just what I’m looking for! I plan on keeping my lifting strength up by joining Brent for a primary lift each/most days too. This complements GPPs shaping bias as well.

Alright I’m off to the gym for day 2 of my month of change and I can’t wait it looks like a great one!!! 

If you’re looking for a change in your fitness routine check out GPP I promise it won’t disappoint! 

  

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

Happy Tuesday Friends!

I have been having whirlwind weeks and weekends and then I sit down to blog and talk with you guys and I feel like I keep repeating myself each week. I swear one day I will come up with new content but rather than forcing topics and content with you all I figure sharing our week/weekend is a pretty good use of this blog, if only for me!

  
We had another fun weekend of football and family time. Brent & I headed to Michigan for an amazing game on Saturday. We both were amazed at all the food that was at the tailgate and enjoyed the AMAZING unseasonably warm October weather. The game was ELECTRIC and if you didn’t see it than I’ll give you the spoiler alert… Michigan won making it their 3rd shut out game in a ROW & the first time that has been done at Michigan since the 1980’s.

  
Once we got home we all crashed watching the end of the Cub’s game and some football. It felt good to be throughly exhausted!

Sunday we got up and my uncle dropped his dog Stoli, off for a little play date with my dad while he went to lunch with a friend. I’m pretty sure my dad hears the word DOG and immediately thinks, “Sweet a walk in the woods!” I’m pretty sure its his favorite thing to do! Brent, my dad & I all headed out to take Stoli for a walk in the woods by the golf course my dad is a member of. Stoli is still a bit of a puppy and is not coordinated enough to perform stairs, jumping or getting in/out of cars. Im not sure if its because he is a puppy or because he is scared of it, either way the poor dog had some troubles!

  
We got to the park and because Stoli is so well trained it took him about 15-20 minutes before he was comfortable walking off the leash and leaving the three of us, but after a while he was getting much more curious and would wonder off justttt far enough where he felt like he was being daring but close enough he could still see where we were! Seriously the best dog EVER!

  
Once we got home I joked that we would move back to Michigan and have my uncle train our dog & then drop it off at my dads house so Grandpa could walk em!

After the walk in the woods we met up with my cousins for a fun little pumpkin patch afternoon! I thought the place we were going was an apple orchard in addition to a pumpkin patch but it wasn’t… so we took the tractor ride, they picked out their pumpkins and we treated ourselves to apple cider donuts!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition 

It was fun spending time with the four of them and doing something seasonal. I love these kids and the fact that they aren’t too cool to hang out with their lame cousin & her husband! I cannot believe that they are old enough to DRIVE and meet me places though!!!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

After our fill of cider & donuts we headed back to Illinois. Brent & I also treated ourselves to some Apple Pie Bread, I had never heard of it but it was basically Monkey Bread with apple pie filling throughout, it was pretty amazing not going to lie… We enjoyed that as dinner Sunday night!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

With Love & All Things Fall!

Signature 2

Life Lately

Hi Beauties,

So I think every week & weekend I tell myself “I am going to write ____ post(s)” but then that thing called life gets in the way, and while I hate making excuses for anything lately life has definitely been a good excuse!

Lets recap, since my last post, I have been working on feeling better physically. I will be giving you an official update later this week but lets just say I have a miracle co-worker and a lot of work still to do.

On Friday my sister popped!!! I got a text message Thursday night, but I was 100% exhausted and already asleep, saying that Stephannie had gone into labor. Thankfully Friday morning I was able to get the play-by-play without missing the finale! I am not sure if I mentioned before but they decided to wait to find out the sex of the baby until it was born so the suspense was honestly killing me. They also did not share the name, so I was doubly excited and nervous and worried but mostly excited.

Around 7:30 on Friday morning my little NIECE Juliette Rose was born and she is 7ounces of absolute photograph perfection! I was on cloud 9 the rest of the day at work. I just wanted photo updates and to be transported to Michigan to snug that little love muffin.

Welcoming this little bundle with open arms and happy hearts

Welcoming this little bundle with open arms and happy hearts

After work on Friday I got to FaceTime with them in the hospital. She was super alert the whole time and it was so exciting, even though FaceTime is definitely not the same but it was pretty fun to say the least. Brent & I decided to hold off on driving to Michigan last weekend to give them a little time together but we are heading there this coming weekend and I will be holding that babe for a while.

12hours New & already on the technology bandwagon!

12hours New & already on the technology bandwagon!

Saturday we had a “typical” Brent & Allison day of going to the gym, food and relaxing at home. We decided to head to a food truck extravaganza at a neighboring town, it was “fun” but definitely not worth it for us. The lines were CRAZY long and the food was tasty but not worth the lines. One of our friends said she waited in line for 2 hours… NO THANKS! We picked the shortest line and called it good!

Sunday we spent the majority of the day with friends watching the Blackhawks game. It was nice to see Brent’s friend and his fiancé and watch the game with other people.

So that brings us to the week. Well my week always seems crazy but then add to that being 52 days, but who’s counting, from our wedding and trying to get all the I’s and T’s dotted and crossed I have been feeling like I am pulled 1000000 directions. I have a lot of dreams and ideas for this blog and the future but right now I am just trying to get through the next few weeks before life can settle into its new norm.

On the wedding front I am SO beyond excited for it to happen and to share all the details of the day (hopefully I will pull them all off) but with that I also am really worried and slightly stressed about all the ideas in my head coming to life in the way they appear in my brain. Which might be the worst feeling ever, and basically means when I worry or think about something too much I end up back online researching/investigating the best option.

52 days and I get to marry my MAN and thats all that really matters!

A controlled chaos is definitely going to be my life for the next few weeks!

A controlled chaos is definitely going to be my life for the next few weeks!

Okay so theres my life lately, a bit of a whirlwind as I guess it will continue to be for the next few weeks, hope you stay along for the ride!

Signature 2

A Marvelous Easter

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We had a very busy one that started on Thursday night. Brent & I had been going through the RCIA program at a local church and this weekend was our culminating event with Easter. For a little background, I grew up catholic however never was confirmed and Brent grew up Baptist. When we got engaged Brent decided to convert to Catholicism and I decided that it was time to be confirmed. For the past few months we have been meeting with an amazing group and growing deeper in our faith.

A Marvelous Easter

This weekend basically looked like this Gym – Church – Eat – Church – Bed… Repeat Saturday & Rest Sunday. We knew that it would be a busy weekend but made the commitment to make it to the gym Friday and Saturday morning before all our events.

IMG_2968

Friday my Grandparents, Dad & Step-Mom all came into town to celebrate the weekend with us.

Saturday morning we spent time reflecting on the past few months with our RCIA group which was a really special and fun morning. Before the Vigil my family all gathered at our apartment for some Pre-Vigil Pizza & Salad, we needed some fuel to keep us up and give us energy for the vigil.

Saturday night we had the Vigil Mass. While the mass was long because we were involved it seemed to go quickly, however I truly believe that St. James did such an AMAZING job with the whole thing that it would’ve been wonderful regardless. The choir and “production” of the Vigil was almost theatrical so you definitely were not bored.

A Marvelous Easter

After the vigil we all celebrated our confirmations before heading home and collapsing in bed.

Easter morning I woke up and made breakfast for my family. My grandparents had to head back to Michigan early but my Dad, Mary, Brent & I all enjoyed the food! Plus we have lots of leftovers for the rest of the week!

Easter Morning

Sunday afternoon we joined some friends at their family Easter. It was nice to enjoy the holiday with a fun and festive family.

No easter is complete without cake!

No easter is complete without cake!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the sunshine and spirit as much as we did!

Signature 2

Thank you Katie for the MARVELOUS Monday weekend recap link party!

Weekending IX

Hi Guys!

Sorry for going a little M.I.A last week, with all the traveling, overcoming a cold/allergies & the time change I could not get my act together to do much more than the necessary stuff.

Lets flashback to a weekend ago and our last trip to Michigan for a month! We headed back to Ann Arbor for a weekend of fun.

Saturday we did some wedding stuff, like have our 90 day meeting with our venue, meet with the Priest who will be marrying us and work on our invitations. While it was nice & fun to check things off the never ending “wedding to do list” it was also very stressful and slightly dramatic. All I can say is I am glad it is over!!

Weekending IX

Saturday night we headed to an event for my sisters school. They have a silent auction every year and since we were in town we went out to support… or just eat & drink. The theme was masquerade so my step-mom got some fun masks for us all to rock. There was a lot of things being auctioned off, both through a live & silent auction.

Weekending IX

No wine for the Pregnant lady = more wine for me 😉

It was a nice time but the most memorable moment was my brother-in-law who was desperate to win a years worth of unlimited car-washes. He was in a (silent) bidding war with a few other anxious car-washers and at the last minute he thought he lost the one bid so quickly signed his name on the other set of car washes being auctioned. As they were counting down 1…0 I yelled “ERICH NO!!! YOU GOT IT” and at the buzzer he quickly scratched his name off the second sheet. However we weren’t sure if he had just won two of the same prize or if they would honor the fact that he scratched his name off. Needless to say the rest of the night he was slightly on edge, and worried that he just doubled his bid. Thankfully at the end of the night he only had to buy the one action item he wanted. PHEW!

Weekending IX

Sunday morning my step-mom & I finished going through the invitations so I could mail them off then I headed to my sisters second baby shower. My mom’s side of the family threw my sister a shower which was a really nice time. My grandma made a blanket for the baby with all of the handprints of our family members (aunts & uncles & cousins) and we showered my sister with lots of love for the munchkin that is about to change her life! My cousins had a lot of fun planning the games, I’ll spare you the details but to paraphrase…. they were interesting & creative!

My "I just mailed our invitations" face! #success

My “I just mailed our invitations” face! #success

Then it was time to head back to Illinois for a week of catch up!

Flash forward to Friday… Brent & my first weekend in seemingly forever where our plans were minimal and they didn’t include 8 hours of driving! Friday night we enjoyed dinner of roasted salmon & roasted shaved brussel sprouts. It was a yummy & relaxing night at home and knowing that on Saturday we had zero obligations was amazing!

Linking up with Katie on this Marvelous Monday! 

Saturday we had a pretty relaxing day of going to the gym, updating our Crate & Barrel gift registry, window shopping and grocery shopping. We skipped going out for St. Patricks day in Chicago so instead we made a nice dinner of grilled steak & roasted baby eggplant and enjoyed some wine and a dutch apple pie to celebrate Pi Day! It was a really nice and relaxing Saturday… Just what the doctor ordered!

Weekending IX

disclaimer - we only bought 1/2 a pie ;) #portioncontrol

disclaimer – we only bought 1/2 a pie 😉 #portioncontrol

Yesterday I had plans to meet Katie for yoga & breakfast. It was a GREAT yoga class, I swear the teacher knew I had a slight catch in my shoulder because she focused on shoulders and utilizing the musculature appropriately the whole class. I am notoriously hard on fitness professionals who name the wrong muscles or muscle actions, it really eats at me and I lose a lot of faith in their abilities, this yoga instructor did an amazing job at explaining & naming the muscles and their actions!!! She definitely got a gold star! I also loved that she moved the class to the wall and we did some inversion work, I am still a ways from perfecting any inversions but it was nice to work on them with direction in a class, rather than from my phone at home! Breakfast was super good & so nice to catch up with Katie!

Delicious Breakfast after an amazing Yoga class!

Delicious Breakfast after an amazing Yoga class!

The rest of Sunday was spent food prepping, working on our centerpieces, & going to church. Ya’ll i live an exciting life when I am not in a car 😉

Oh & I updated our chalkboard. I am pretty sure the last time I updated it was before Thanksgiving, the qoute was applicable all year ;)… I have been wanting to update this to a wedding countdown for WEEKS but never got around to it. So now that we are 90 days away I decided it was time!

Weekending IX

Now off to enjoy this amazing weather!

Signature 2

Enchilada Turkey Chili

This enchilada turkey chili gives you a taste of an enchilada while filling you up with all the vegetables and flavors you won’t miss the cheese or tortilla! 

On Sunday when we hit the grocery store I knew I wanted to be able to make a big batch of something that wouldn’t take a lot of work and we could eat all week. With the weather continuing to be super cold I decided a very veggie heavy chili sounded amazing. I had some enchilada sauce in the fridge leftover from my last chicken enchilada bake (SO GOOD) and wanted to use that up, so when we were at the grocery store I went off that.

I really couldn’t tell you if this was going to turn out any good at all, but I just started throwing all the bits & bobs in the pot and hoped for the best. I knew it would be edible, just wasn’t sure if it would be shareable, you know one of those blogger meals that just don’t make it beyond the kitchen onto instagram 😉 Thankfully it was/is shareable and delicious!

I had intentions of topping this chili with some avocado but the avocado this week was $1.50 EACH and this wedding-budget sister won’t pay that much for her beloved avocados.
So if you have an avocado chop it up and throw it in, I bet it will be delicious!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:50]
The other great thing about this recipe is that with about 15 minutes of prep you get a HUGE pot of chili that will feed you for a whole week! We have been enjoying this for lunch & sometimes dinner this week and have made it to Thursday with enough for lunch & dinner tonight (and thats a huge feat in this household!)

Need another reason to try this recipe??? Well it is Paleo, Advocare 24 Day Challenge approved & grain-free! So if you follow any of these this chili is for you!

Enjoy!

Signature 2

Take Time Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!!!

I am popping in today to brighten up my winter blues and reflect on some things that I am thankful for. The freezing temperatures here in Chicagoland has definitely caused me to slow down and feel super sluggish, not to mention having some cabin fever. I am beyond a doubt ready for winter to be over with. BUT rather than sitting here and complaining lets look at some of the good that has been going on over here!

Linking up with Katie

Linking up with Katie

The past few weeks, and upcoming few weeks, are SUPER jam packed with life events. On Friday I ran to the store and bought a planner to help get my head organized. There is just something about writing it down on paper that allowed me to take a deep breath and relax. Between friends, family, my sister having a baby, our wedding and everything else in-between I have already filled a lot of the weekends between now and June.

take time tuesday

Driving to Ohio! Brent & I spent a LOT of time in the car over the weekend driving to my friend Kelsey’s wedding in Ohio. Typically when we drive we will chat about random things but our conversations are usually short lived, mostly due to me being tired, however this weekend we talked A LOT. It probably helped that when we drove from Ann Arbor to Cleveland the roads were terrible and it was super snowy so Brent was talking to me to make sure I didn’t kill us & after the wedding we both had wedding on the brain so lots of good conversations happened.

Kelsey & Sean's wedding bash!

Kelsey & Sean’s wedding bash!

I am very thankful for working in a PT clinic, especially when I am hurt. About 4 weeks ago I hurt my thumb lifting, I had our OT check it out and we determined that I have a tendonitis in my thumb. I have been trying to rest it but since it is my left hand & I am left handed its been really hard to rest it. Thankfully I work in a place with kinesiotape, biofreeze & people to diagnose me so that when my thumb is hurting at work I can fix myself up!

Take Time Tuesday

Wedding Madness is in full-swing! I have been loving talking about my wedding and planning through my patients at work. I am sure they are super sick of hearing me talk about it all the time but it helps me feel some sort of sanity. Even though Brent & I have been engaged for over a year now I think in the past 3-4 months I have done most of the wedding stuff so its been on my brain a lot lately.

Finally lets talk about my crazy amazing family. My cousins sent me this snapchat last week and I couldn’t help but laugh. First I thought they were teasing me because I posted my shoulder lifting face earlier that day on instagram….

take time tuesday

…and then I just loved that on their snow day they headed to the rec center and got their workout on together. A family that exercises together, stays together right?!

take time tuesday

OKAY well my wedding-planning brain has to go and do some work!

Signature 2
PS THANKS FOR ALL THE VOTES!!! I loved reading all your comments & will definitely let y’all know which one we are using… BUT if you’re curious you can head to the FB post and you should have a pretty good idea!