September 30, 2011

Happy Friday!

Oh, Friday, I'm so happy you're here. I'm headed back to Michigan after work today for a wine tasting weekend in Traverse City with my Mom and sister. So excited! I haven't been in awhile and I definitely want to stock up on some Michigan made vino, cherries and good food! And of course we'll be stopping at The Most Beautiful Place in America, Sleeping Bear Dunes :)

From a 2006 trip up North...I forgot how long it's been since I was up there!
Mama D and Al @ Sleeping Bear Dunes

I'll be back with lots of wine reviews and pictures for you next week. And if you're in Chi this weekend, don't forget to stop by for the launch of the new Nike Chicago shoes!

September 29, 2011

For the Chi Town Runners

What are you guys doing Saturday? There's a really cool event going on that anyone who's into running, fitness or Chicago will like. Nike is going to unveil an awesome new Chicago designed pair of shoes and give great tips for running during our crap Winters :) There will also be a little fashion show with looks that are perfect for Fall running. It's free and all you need to do is show-up. Check out the invite below and stop by!

See those cool shoes on the invite? They are designed by Chicago artist, Tara D. for Chicago runners! So cool. How many cities actually get their own pair of shoes made for them? Are we special in Chicago or what? The designer is going to be on hand at the event to talk about her design and answer questions.

I have really been wanting to try out the new Lunar fit. Of course I'm in love with my Nike ID's too, but this is like a custom ID pair for our city! From what I've been reading the Lunar gives you a lot of stability and extra soft cushioning for hitting the Lakeshore path. I got the hook-up on some pics of the shoes, consider this a sneak-peek to Saturday!

What do you guys think? I love how they say "CHI" right on them. Too cool. I can't wait to get my hands on a pair. And I do have to let you guys in on a little secret, Nike is going to be hooking me up with a pair of these sweet shoes! So excited. Thanks Nike :) I'll have to review them after I run in them a few times.

Definitely try to check out the event on Saturday afternoon. I am really bummed, I am taking a trip to Wine Country in Michigan this weekend so I can't be there, but I'm dying to hear how it goes. Email me with any questions and let me know how it is if you go!

September 27, 2011

Steal of the Week: Kate Spade

Four words for you: Kate Spade Flash Sale. Oh boy, when things like this show up in my inbox I know I'm in trouble. I simply can't resist a sale on one of my favorite brands. This one only lasts for one day -- but there are some seriously good bargains. As much as I LOVE Kate Spade, I'm on a budget too, so I make it a point to only buy when things are on sale. And now is the time...

A few of the best deals, we're talking way more than 50% off!

Stratford Lori, Regularly $295, on sale for $129
I love this deep coral/orange color for Fall.

Metallic Macdougla Alley Stevie, Regularly $425, on sale for $169.
Seriously?! That is a good deal and I love the classic Stevie style.

Cheltenham Neda Wallet, Regularly $195, on sale for $59
New leather wallet for $59 bucks? Yes, please!

Lucille Shift Dress, Regularly $425, on sale for $159
This is screaming Holiday parties to me...Love it.

Happy Bargain Hunting!

September 14, 2011

Words for Wednesday

Quote added to original sketch by E. H. Shepard. Courtesy of Bonhams and Butterfield

September 9, 2011

Reflections on 9/11, the 10th Anniversary

As we approach the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the day that forever changed America. It's one of those events where you will always remember exactly what you were doing when you heard. I remember how my Mom always tells me she will never forget what she was doing when she heard that JFK was assassinated. I think 9/11 is that kind of event for a whole generation of Americans. I was a junior in high school at the time and I think we were on our 10 minute break between classes that happened in the morning. I remember walking into my math teacher's classroom and seeing the Twin Towers on the TV. I don't think I even grasped what was going on. Who could?

Besides the obvious sense of shock and horror at what was going on, what really sticks with me the most is how in the coming hours, days and months the country pulled together like I have never witnessed before. It seemed like sense of community, helping one another and pride in America was at an all time high. That was such an amazing outcome to the acts of destruction and one I'm sure the terrorists never expected. I remember the chants of "USA, USA" and people lining streets to cheer on and encourage fire fighters and first responders.

2,997 flags, one for each person who died in the attacks, via
I've been watching a lot of 9/11 specials on TV, my favorite has been the series produced by Steven Spielberg, Rising: Rebuilding America. Have you guys heard of this one? It's a 6-part series, each episode talks about a different aspect of the memorial from building the museum and the new towers to how the people working on this project are connected to 9/11, it's fascinating and brings me to tears each time. A few of the things I've learned from the show...

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The Survivor Tree
Have you heard about the survivor tree? I love this story. They say that the survivor tree was the last living thing pulled from the rubble of Ground Zero. It was not even found until weeks after the attacks. When they did find it, most of it's branches had been crushed by the towers and it's trunk scarred, but someone decided they should try to save it.

It was moved to a nursery in the outskirts of NYC and amazingly nursed back to health. One of the project managers at the memorial, Ron Vega, made it his personal mission to make sure the tree had a special place on the site. He was a first responder to the scene on 9/11 and must have felt a special connection to the tree. He is profiled in Rising and it is such a moving story. The survivor tree was brought back to the 9/11 Memorial site in December of 2010 and is now thriving in a prominent spot at the site. I watched the tree being brought back in on the special, it was such a triumph to see it return to the site.

Arriving at the site, almost 10 years later. Via
On the show everyone talked about how the survivor tree symbolizes the resiliency of the human spirit and rebirth. How fitting for the 9/11 memorial site.

The survivor tree blooms at the site, photo by Amy Dreher, via
I can't think of a better sign of hope...

Gorgeous pictures taken by the 9/11 memorial photographer, Amy Dreher
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Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero will air in it's entirety on Sunday, September 11th beginning at 5PM EST on Science. You can learn more about the series here.

To learn more about the 9/11 Memorial site where the survivor tree is housed visit here.

September 8, 2011

Work it Out

I have been on a major working out bender lately...and it feels great! I've worked out about 3-5 times a week for the past 5 weeks. And I started Week 6 Sunday with running and spin class the other night. I always feel so good about myself after a workout. There is nothing like running or lifting weights to make you feel super confident and de-stressed! Of course with all this working out I've been getting really into my "gear." Here are a few of my favorites, because let's face it, looking cute during your workout makes you run that much faster :)

I know everyone is into the super thin and sleek workout shoes lately, well not me. My first pair of Nike shox got me through about 3 years of workouts, so I wasn't about to turn on them when it was time for a replacement. I finally ordered these last week and I custom designed them with Nike iD. So cool!

One other thing from, I ordered these pants on clearance and am in love with them!! So comfy and cute. I love the wide waistband and they definitely stayed put during my whole workout.

Low-Rise Running Capris

Have you guys seen the active line by Old Navy? They've got some great pieces and all at really good prices. I just got a pair of their active leggings. For only $27 they have all the good stuff; moisture wicking fabric, zip pocket for keys. Anything with the name compression in the title works for me...
Compression Capris

I just found a great top from Gap Body that I feel like is so cute I want to wear it for normal activities (I'll try to restrain myself). This little top made me want to run over to yoga class. Literally, I was so excited to sport this at Yoga! I don't know why this top isn't up on their website?! Here are a few pics from the store... It is super comfortable, not to mention ultra flattering with the empire waist. I'd say it has enough support for lower impact activities, I have worn it for yoga and lifting.

A few things I'm eying from can never have too many workout tops, right?!

Under Armour Raceback Tank, $19.99

Similar to the Gap tank, but I love this color and the racerback, you can find this online here.

Happy working out :)

September 7, 2011

Words for Wednesday

Today's Words for Wednesday are a little different than the typical quotes I post. This is just a little something I liked and wanted to share as we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11th. I found it here.
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As you might know, the head of a major company survived the tragedy of “9/11” in New York because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.

One of them missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.

One’s car wouldn’t start.

One went back to answer the telephone.

One had a child that dawdled and didn’t get ready as soon as he should have.

One couldn’t get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic…
miss an elevator…
turn back to answer a ringing telephone…
all the little things that annoy me…
I think to myself…
this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

The next time your morning seems to be going wrong,
the children are slow getting dressed,
you can’t seem to find the car keys,
you hit every traffic light…
don’t get mad or frustrated;
God is at work watching over you.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things – and may you remember and appreciate their possible purpose.

(Author Unknown)

September 6, 2011

The Weekender

Did everyone have a good long weekend? I feel refreshed after 3 days off! And only a 4 day work week, whoo hoo!

I had two very special visitors this weekend, my best friend (and cousin) and her little baby, Eden. It was so much fun to spend time with the two of them. I snapped a few pictures of Baby Eden on my phone. If you need another dose of cuteness, my cousin is a super talented photographer and just had Eden up on her blog, check it out here.

Eden and I hanging out while her Mama shopped in Gap...

I love her to pieces, cute isn't even the word. She's beyond adorable, isn't she?? Also, happiest baby in the world. I don't know how my cousin does it! Eden literally only cries when she is hungry. Too bad they live in Grand Rapids and I'm in Chicago, I wish I could see them more! Anyway, it was a great weekend with them and I only wish we had gotten some pics of me and my cousin!

Over the weekend I cooked up a delicious breakfast with Michigan blueberries! I'll post about it later this week.

Went out for dinner Sunday with a friend to our favorite spot, Rocks and had one of their delish Bloodies! Yum. We sat outside, gotta get all the alfresco dining in before it's too cold.

And I got in one last Caprese before Fall officially sets in...

What about you? Anything fun from over the weekend?


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