Monthly Archives: January 2016

What’s Up….Saturday?

About Me

Hey there, everyone! I’ve got a fun little bonus Saturday post for you today.

I just found out about What’s Up Wednesdays from Mel, Sheaffer and Shay and thought it would be a good way to start incorporating more “personal” stuff.

What we’re eating this week: 

I mentioned the Chicken Avocado Burgers yesterday. My friend Anne commented that she’s been making those for years. And, yes, I totally got the recipe from her. She knows a good recipe!

Other items we’re having this week? Tacos. Always tacos. I alternate between making them with ground turkey and lean ground beef.

Monday I had pizza at Nellcote. Wednesday I was out late at a photo shoot (!!) and ended up making myself pancakes and eggs for dinner.

So, yeah, a little all over the place.

What I’m loving:

One of the gals I follow on Instagram posted the most awesome workout leggings from Forever 21! I know I just said I’m not shopping but AHHH! Hide my credit cards! These are also amazing.

What we’ve been up to:

This past week was a bit crazy and I barely saw my husband! Monday night I went out to dinner. Tuesday night I attended a complimentary Orangetheory workout class with my running club. And Wednesday night I took advantage of an awesome photo shoot deal with That’s A Doozy and Tim Rothe Photography. Photos will be on the blog once I get them!

What I’m excited about:

I’ve been talking to my personal trainer about getting my NSCA certification (that’s the one he has and since I love him to death, why not be the same?) and he seems super amped to help me out. So, once I have the money to get the books I’m going to start studying!

What I’m wearing:

At this very moment I’m wearing my favorite t-shirt and jeans. I actually wore the same tee to work on Wednesday and took photos while wearing it along with my new faux leather leggings, a black, white and gray plaid top, and polka dot sneakers. Hope to share those photos soon!

What I’m doing this weekend:

Goals? Go for a run with the pup, maybe stop by the Randolph Street Market, get coffee and a doughnut at Sawada, and create a blog “media kit”. Still not sure exactly what that means but I hope to figure it out this weekend!

What I’m looking forward to next month:

At the end of February I’m traveling to Tampa to run the Gasparilla Half Marathon! I may have to break my no-shopping streak to buy a pirate-themed running outfit.

Slimfast versus Salad [Fitness Friday]


As I’ve mentioned before, for the past year and a half or so I’ve been using the “if it fits your macros” philosophy to lose weight and build muscle. So when Influenster offered to send me some Slimfast items I figured, hey, why not? I could always use some snacks!

Photo Dec 22, 5 44 38 PM

They sent me Cinnamon Bun Swirl Drizzled Crisps, Sour Cream and Onion Baked Crisps, a Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bar, and one meal replacement drink.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that only the drink had sucralose in it. I don’t drink or eat sucralose or aspartame or other similar sweeteners so I was happy that I could at least try the other items!

And try them I did. The cinnamon crisps and the sour cream and onion crisps were snacks on two different days. I ate the bar on my way to working packet pickup for the F3 Half Marathon. All were quite tasty, to be honest.

But here’s my issue with the whole thing:

Photo Dec 22, 5 45 30 PM

Can you see that? This plan suggests you eat two meal replacement bars or shakes, both of which are under 200 calories. Then you eat one 500 calorie meal and three 100 calories snacks. When you do the math you come up with, at most, 1200 calories.

Um, what?? Even when I was first “cutting” (aka losing weight and body fat) I was eating more than that! Seriously. I may not be a registered dietitian or nutritionist but 1200 calories seems super duper low!

Especially if you’re also working out. I lift weights 4-5 days, do at least one high intensity interval cardio session, and one longer run of 5 to 10 miles each week. I need me some food!

Plus, I’ve found that a huge salad with 4-6 ounces of protein fills me up way more than anything else. For example, yesterday I had a free meal from Sprig so I ordered their Harissa Chicken with Couscous for lunch. I love that they list all the macros on their app/website so it made it simple to find something that would work. However, even though it was tasty, it didn’t fill me up the same way all those greens and veggies do in a salad. Crazy, right?

Anyway, I won’t be buying any Slimfast stuff with my own money. I don’t need it and I find the whole idea a little suspect. I guess I just prefer to eat real food. Like the Chicken Avocado Burgers I made for dinner last night. Highly recommended.


Also, for the curious, this is what my workouts looked like so far this week, plus what I have planned.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Workout with my trainer (deadlifts, bench press, front squats and pull-ups) plus an Orangetheory Fitness class.

Wednesday – Back & Biceps

Thursday – Legs

Friday – Chest, Shoulders & Triceps plus 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill (planned)

Saturday – 8 mile run (planned)

Sunday – Rest

Two outfits for a girl’s night out

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

As an ambassador for Le Tote, I get some fun opportunities. Recently they asked me to create a Girl’s Night Out look using Le Tote items. Well, I did one better: I created TWO outfits using the same top and necklace, both from Le Tote.


First up, let’s say you’re going to do something casual with your girlfriends. Beers and dinner at the local neighborhood restaurant, maybe? Jeans, a blouse, flats, and a faux leather moto jacket and you’re done.


Blouse – Le Tote (same) | Jacket – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Flats – Sole Society (similar

Or maybe you’re going out to a fun bar for drinks or appetizers or just to people watch. Maybe you want to take it up a notch and wear something a little less casual. That’s where this Sam Edelman top comes in. Check out the shoulders.


Yep! They unzip! Get a little bare skin action going on there. Pair it with some faux leather pants and some heels, keep the same necklace, and you’ve amped up your outfit for something a little more daring.


Pants – Vince Camuto (similar) | Heels – Bandolino (similar

What do you think? Would you wear either of these outfits? Which one do you like best? What do you like to do on a girl’s night out?

Personally? I’m ALWAYS up for drinks and food. Always. In fact, I just took advantage of the happy hour at a local restaurant (Nellcote, for you Chicagoans) where you can get any pizza and any beer for $10. That’s a crazy deal! Two of my friends and I each ordered a different pizza so we could try more than one. It worked out perfectly.

P.S. You can still get $25 off your first month of Le Tote if you use code ERIN25. Oh, and while you’re at it, you can see this outfit featured on their blog, too!

January Shopping Summary


Hey, remember when I said I was going to cut way back on shopping?



Yep. I did it! The only thing I “bought” in January were the Club Monaco faux leather leggings and I say “bought” because I got them c/o Shopbop credit for having their widget on my blog.

I’d be wanting to replace my current Vince Camuto faux leather pants because they’ve always been slightly too big in the waist. Although these don’t have pockets like I originally wanted, they are ponte material in the back so they fit better than full faux leather leggings. And, the most important thing, they fit in the waist!

So, that’s it. And because I didn’t buy myself anything else I was able to buy Jason a really cool birthday present.

The Vince Camuto pants will be going to the consignment shop shortly, along with several pairs of jeans and a few other things. But I won’t be using that money to buy anything, I swear!

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers

Viagra for sale

Viagra for sale Viagra and clonidine · Casual Friday

I’m not really sure how it happened, but I’d made it until my late 20s before I had to buy snow boots. I mean, sure, I had them as a kid and I  had an emergency pair for shoveling or playing in the snow, but an actual pair that didn’t look like they came out of a bad 1990s film about ski school? Nope.

So several years ago I asked for and got the now-ubiquitous Sorel Joan of Arctic boots. And not to go totally hipster on you, but I definitely had these before it was cool.

Anyway, when I worked in a more traditionally corporate environment I would wear these to trudge to and from the train in the snow and then change into heels or flats when I got to the office. Now, though, it’s totally fine to wear them all day. So, I do. And here’s how:


Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Vest – Gap (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Scarf – H&M via Poshmark (similar


Sweater – H&M (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Jeans – Loft (similar


Shirt – Gap (similar) | Sweater – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar) | Earrings – gift (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same)


Vest – Nordstrom (similar) | Sweater – Loft via Goodwill (similar) | Jeans – Loft (same) | Necklace – Randolph Street Market (similar

Pinterest Parallels [Vol. 17]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Viagra users forum · Style Imitating Art

When I got my new camel blazer for Christmas I knew the exact outfit I wanted to recreate using it. It was this one from Damsel in Dior. Turns out this outfit also kind of works for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge from Animated Cardigan.


Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt- Le Tote (same) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Pants – Vince Camuto (similar) | Shoes – Sam Edelman (same)

I know the original SIA photograph that Jess chose is all black and white, but I think the stripes on my shirt echo the trees and the tan jacket just alludes to nature.

In other news, I spent all of Friday and Saturday working at for a local half marathon and a good chunk of Sunday answering post-race emails. Our race shirt manufacturer missed our deadline and, as such, some of our shirts were stuck in transit and didn’t arrive in time for the race. Most people were understanding but there are always those who have to be rude or difficult about things, right?

Anyway, it just reinforces the life lesson that you should try your hardest to be nice to people. Why default to rude when it’s just as easy to be nice, you know?

I fully admit that I am not always the nicest person. Sometimes Jason has to say “Be nice” when I’m getting testy. So even I can stand a reminder now and then. No one is perfect.

Admittedly, even this outfit isn’t perfect. In the interest of full disclosure, I barely wore the blazer all day. After months of being cold our office is finally warm! So, I suppose, that my outfit ended up being a great interpretation of this week’s SIA choice after all.


Four things to have in your fitness arsenal (Fitness Friday)


I’ve written posts in the past about what I consider to be running essentials, but since running is just one piece of my current fitness life AND that post is super old, I thought it only appropriate to share some of my current fitness necessities.

First up, I am in LOVE with my Old Navy mesh leggings. I wear them to the gym to lift, I’ve worn them running, and, heck, I even wear them around the house. They are super comfortable and the mesh gives them not only some breathability but a little bit more personality than a solid pair of black leggings.


same sports bra | similar Nikes

In fact, when Valerie saw me in them a few weekends ago she couldn’t believe they were from Old Navy. The look and the quality is just that good. And, yes, they say “compression” but, no worries, the wide waistband won’t give you a muffin top.


Oh hi there, super grumpy Instagram husband 

Next up is the iPhone app Gym Hero. I use this to log all my weight lifting workouts and even upgraded to the premium version (heck, it was only $4). I know some people like to keep a paper log (and if you do, I recommend JournalMenu) but since I already have my phone on me in the gym it’s just as easy to log everything right there. I like that I can easily see what weights I lifted for a particular exercise the last time I did that exercise. Keeps me honest and helps me to progress. If I did 65 pounds last time, why not try 70 this time?


When I first started this whole weight lifting as a primary form of working out thing, I used Thinner, Leaner, Stronger, which I’ve mentioned several times. But after awhile I wanted something else. That’s when I started using Lynette as my “coach”. I’d followed her fitness journey on Instagram for awhile and knew she was a personal trainer with some kick-butt experience. I also know she’s a real person with ups and downs who totally understands that life is not all about working out. She comes up with KILLER (in a good way!) workouts and helps me do that whole macros thing I mentioned last week. If you want to start lifting and eating differently but have no clue where to start I can highly recommend Lynette. Oh, and her Youtube videos are great. I think if you sign up with her and mention me we both get some kind of deal, too. Although I’m honestly not sure how that works.

Anyway, speaking of macros and tracking food, I’m sure you all know about MyFitnessPal. And if you don’t, well, you should! I actually shelled out money for this, too, so that I could customize my carbs, fat and protein numbers. Whether you want to track calories or macros, this website and app make it super easy. My friend Jess even lost around 100 pounds tracking her food using  it! Of course, I don’t track every day but it does help me know what I’m doing in general.

So, there you have it. The four items I am in love with right now in my fitness journey.

And, no, I wasn’t paid or asked to write about any of these things. I honestly spent my own money on all of them!


The most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

So, for this month’s Third Thursday Threads with Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose we’re supposed to write about our most cherished item. The one we coveted, saved up for, will repair before we donate/toss. You get the picture.

Whenever anyone asks me this, I always answer with my black Cole Haan boots. Why? Because they were what I consider to be my first “adult” purchase. See, after I graduated college I moved back to my hometown, got a job, and eventually worked part time and went to graduate school part time. Heck, Jason and I even bought a house! But where I worked wasn’t exactly “professional” dress and I was always running up and down stairs, hauling boxes, or kneeling on the floor. Not to mention lugging around boxes of historical documents and ledgers from the late 1800s. Dusty, dirty work. I wore mostly clothes from the Junior’s department and very rarely wore heels.

But I had a pair of black kitten heel faux leather knee high boots that I loved. And when they finally fell apart I wanted to replace them. Shortly after we moved to Chicago I found myself at one of the major malls in the Chicago suburbs looking for a new pair of boots. And I found the perfect ones. Except they were at Cole Haan and cost more than I’d ever spent on anything.


That was 8 years ago. I didn’t save up for them like I should have but I bought them and I’ve wore the heck out of them. I’ve gotten the heel tips replaced several times and even though the pointy toe is a bit dated and I’m back in a job where I rarely wear heels, they’ll always have a place in my closet. In fact, I just wore them again on my birthday with black jeggings, a hot pink sweater, and a black blazer.

This particular style, of course, is no longer sold. The closest thing Cole Haan has right now is these.  And these ones are similar but MUCH cheaper.

What about you? What is that “one” item in your closet? Linking up with Bri’s Third Thursday Threads 

Is it bad to take nexium long term

Is it bad to take nexium long term You Pick Wednesday

For my birthday this year my husband bought me a new pair of earrings. He likes to buy me jewelry and he usually does a good job. This year he bought me a pair of ear crawlers. This is an earring trend I’ve found intriguing but wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit. See, I have relatively tiny ears and I just didn’t know if they would work.

So, husband to the rescue!



Admittedly, they do take some finagling to get on just right. However, I discovered that you can actually wear them three different ways. At least, I can since I have two holes in each ear.

The first way is as designed, where you thread the back through your ear and then turn the earring up so the back lays along the back of your ear and the gems are on the front. If you have tiny ears like mine this may require some bending of the earring back to get it to stay in place.


The second way is to just wear them like regular drop earrings. In fact, turns out that I actually already owned a pair of ear crawler earrings that I was wearing as drop earrings: these star ones! I just didn’t realize they could be worn as ear crawlers. But lo and behold, take a look:


same from Le Tote | similar

Finally, if you have two (or more!) holes like me, you can wear the ear crawler in the higher hole and a regular earring in the lower one.


This is how I wore them out to dinner for my birthday last week. My husband also gave me the other earrings for Christmas and wanted to show off all my new bling.

Again, though, if you have tiny ears like me not all ear crawlers will work. Take, for example, the pair I just recently got from Le Tote.


There is no way these are going to stay on my ears if I move my head. They are cute, though. If a little over the top.

What do you think of the ear crawler trend? Would you wear them? Which of the three above is your favorite? 

Big Hairy Work Dreams

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Good morning! Welcome to Monday. I know some people have today off for Martin Luther King Jr Day but I do not. It’s just another work day for me. So here’s another work day outfit.


Blazer – Le Tote (same) | Blouse – old (similar) | Pants – Old Navy (same) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (similar

Anyone notice the hidden Chewie in the photo above? 

I spent several hours this past weekend working packet pick-up for the F3 Half Marathon that’s coming up this weekend. I’m working for them part time as a contractor doing customer service and, it’s weird to say, but I love it. I also love working packet pick-up for races. It’s hard to break into the racing management industry and it doesn’t always pay very much, but I love doing it.

I’m beginning to think that if I could make my living doing race management support part-time and personal training part-time I’d be a happy camper. And maybe running my own fitness studio (speaking of fitness, did you see my first post in my new Fitness Friday series?). So, I suppose I’d better get on trying to make that happen. Any suggestions on achieving a big hairy dream like that?