Monthly Archives: May 2016

Getting in Enough Protein as a Power Lifter


Getting in enough protein for recovery when weight lifting doesn’t have to be difficult with this shop, which has been compensated by CollectiveBias, Inc. on behalf of its advertiser, EAS Sports Nutrition. #easbrand #PowerinProtein #collectivebias


It feels a bit weird to call myself a “power lifter” but, hey, when your trainer at the gym says you’re doing power lifting then I guess the shoe fits.

deadlift2, #shop

One of the things I’ve learned since I began power lifting is that my body needs way more protein than it used to. In fact, I once read that you should be eating around one gram of protein for every pound you weigh if you’re trying to build muscle. Well, I AM trying to build muscle so I’m aiming for at least 125 grams of protein per day. How do I get it all in?

Let’s take a look at a typical Thursday.

I get up, shower, do my hair & make-up, get dressed and pack my gym bag. Then I start my breakfast around 7AM. Breakfast consists of half a cup of oatmeal made with half a cup of almond-cashew milk, half a cup of water, three tablespoons of powdered peanut butter, cinnamon, and honey. I also have two egg whites with some salt and pepper. This makes up 24 grams of protein.

While my breakfast is cooking I make my lunch and my protein shake for the day. I recently purchased some EAS® 100% Whey Protein Powder in Vanilla from Walmart. I drink a protein shake after every workout since 20-30 grams of protein post-workout helps optimize recovery. Since it’s part of my regular meals I always forget it’s in the Diet and Nutrition Bars aisle at the grocery store but, hey, that’s where you’ll find it.

eas whey protein #shop #cbias

Anyway, I don’t do anything crazy with my protein shake. In fact, I don’t even use a typical shaker bottle! Nope. I use an empty (clean) almond butter jar.

To make my super-simple protein shake, add one to two scoops of EAS® 100% Whey Protein Powder to the jar. Add one cup of your choice of milk. Mine, again, is almond-cashew. Then all you have to do is shake. See? You get a little bit of an arm workout in, too!


If you make your drink the night before and put it in the fridge any little clumps or powder stuck to the inside of the jar will dissolve overnight. See? Told you it was simple!

After I make my lunch and eat my breakfast it’s off to work where I enjoy my one cup of coffee with a splash of half & half while I check my email and make my to-do list.

Around 9AM or so I typically have a small snack. Right now it consists of 4-8 reduced fat vanilla wafers. I eat my second snack of a banana, fat free Greek yogurt and cinnamon around 10:30. I head to the gym at 11:30 so I want to get in some protein and carbs beforehand. Total protein for the snack? 20 grams.

For the past three months Thursdays have been deadlift day. I do a series of deadlifts, increasing my weight each time. The key is to figure out your one rep max and then you calculate a percentage of that and do 5, 3 or 1 rep(s) depending on the week. It’s called Big But Boring.

deadlift, #shop

After the first series of deadlifts I do 5×10 Romanian or Straight Leg Deadlifts and 5×15 Russian Twists or Captain’s Chair Leg Raises. All in all, it takes about 45 minutes.

I don’t get that sweaty so I typically just wipe myself down, touch up my make-up, blow dry the roots of my hair, change back into my office clothes and head back to work. My gym is in my office building so it’s super convenient.

Then I eat lunch at my desk! Lunch consists of spinach & arugula with cucumber, tomato, carrots, 4-5 ounces of whatever protein I have leftover from dinner the night before (this past Thursday it was pork tenderloin), balsamic vinegar and, of course, my protein shake. Total protein grams, including the shake? 45 grams!


Because I drink a protein shake almost every single day I look for one that actually lists all the ingredients on the label. Some brands like to list “proprietary blends” instead of calling out the actual ingredients and their amounts. I prefer to avoid those when possible which is why EAS® is a good choice since they list exactly what and how much is in there.

Around 3PM I typically eat an apple with about a tablespoon of peanut butter. This adds 4 more grams of protein to my day.

When I get home around 5:30 PM I unwind with a beer or a glass of wine while I start dinner. The actual meal varies but always includes four to six ounces of meat (chicken, turkey or pork), four to five ounces of veggies, and about six ounces of carbs. I aim to get in another 40-50 grams of protein with dinner.

Then, if I have protein, carbs and fat macronutrients left for the day (yes, I track them all) I’ll have some low-fat ice cream for dessert. Or, if I need more protein, I’ll toss a scoop or two of protein powder and a cup of milk into the blender with a bunch of ice and have a protein milkshake!

All of this seems to be working since I can now do three pull-ups in a row, can deadlift over twice my body weight, can bench press over 100 pounds, and can squat almost 200. And, believe it or not, I do it all without feeling super sore! I chalk that up to my protein intake helping with recovery and muscle building.

pullup, #shop

I love weight lifting and I have a new-found love of power lifting. Which is why I’m intrigued by the show “Strong” on NBC. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about gaining strength, both mentally and physically. I truly feel that weight lifting can change your outlook on life and make you more confident and it seems that this show is aiming for that as well.  So, check out the New NBC Show S.T.R.O.N.G where EAS® products will be featured on the June 2nd episode. (9pm EST 8pm CST)

Do you use Ibotta? If so, earn $3.00 when you purchase EAS® 100% Whey Protein or $1 when you purchase EAS® AdvantEdge Carb Control

Want to learn more about how protein can help you get stronger? The #PowerinProtein inspiration page has recipes, videos, and tons of people to follow to learn more. Or leave your favorite way to get protein in your life in the comments below!

SIA: Spring in Chicago

Style Imitating Art

To those of you in the United States, I hope you’re joining me in celebrating Memorial Day. Memorial Day in Chicago, is, among many things, the “official” kick-off to summer. So, I suppose, it’s only appropriate that today I show how I interpreted a painting called “Spring.”


Yeah, I know. Just go with me here.

Anyway, I got this dress in my latest Le Tote shipment and wore it on Friday night to the summer kick-off party for the Randolph Street Market. I also decided that the blue color and the texture of the fabric went perfectly with some of the cards in the inspiration painting.


Dress – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – c/o Alterre NYC (same) | Necklace (similar


The weather in Chicago decided to be amazing this weekend and has blessed us with sunny and warm days that are perfect for taking the dog to the park, watching my husband race his car, and going for a run. And drinking some cocktails at the Randolph Street Market Garden Party, of course.


Clearly I didn’t take these photos at the Garden Party. I took them at the under-construction-party. But now that the weather is nice I tend to ride a bike home from work and I pass this corner almost every day. I like that it gives a unique view of the Sears Tower and, interestingly enough, my parents’ condo. In fact, it’s staying in that condo that made me fall in love with city living.

Now I’m here, taking photos with this in what is almost my backyard. Crazy. Summer in Chicago is the other reason we all live here, by the way. So of course I’m looking forward to it!


I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday for the round-up of all the awesome outfits that have been submitted for this round of Style Imitating Art. Yes, I know, it’s supposed to be Tuesday but I have a post coming up tomorrow about how I get in enough protein for power lifting. Hopefully you’ll find that interesting, too. Otherwise, come back Wednesday!

May Shopping Summary



Library Stamp Tee | Leggings (30% off this weekend!) | Tanks (on sale!) | Workout Top (30% off this weekend)

So, in my quest to not spend money out of my bank account, I failed a little bit when I went to Target after having three drinks. This is what happens when I have to walk home past Target after going out for dinner and alcoholic beverages and I’m left to my own devices! I also bought underwear but you’re not getting pictures of that. For shame.

The tee is something I’ve admired on Jen for years and when I saw Out of Print was having a sale I couldn’t resist any longer. I still had a Visa gift card with money on it from doing a survey so that’s what I used to buy the tee.

Earlier this month I ordered these jeans with my Shopbop credit but they were WAY too big so I ended up returning then. After reading some reviews, I decided to try these and these (both on sale) instead. As I write this, they haven’t arrived so I don’t know if I’m keeping either of them.

I’m also considering ordering these shorts since I have a $50 Express gift card and I want another pair of denim shorts. And these are 40% off.

And then there are these Bucketfeet shoes. You guys. They are ADORABLE. Especially for a dog lover. Do I dare splurge?

Overall, though, I’m in this funk where I want to ditch everything in my closet and stick to simple items. That probably wouldn’t make for a very interesting blog, though, now would it?

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

This is what real life looks like

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

One of my favorite bloggers, Jen, recently wrote a post about the differences between style bloggers and fashion bloggers. I think this post exemplifies why I agree with her assessment on the difference and why I am firmly in the “style blogger” camp and not the “fashion blogger” camp.

This is me, in all my simple, wrinkled, slightly-damp-from-the-kiddie-pool-at-the-dog-park glory.


Tee – Target | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Purse – Le Tote (same

I wore this outfit to work paired with a denim jacket. Then I took off the denim jacket because it was 85 degrees outside and I was riding a Divvy bike home. Yes, I rode a bike in a pencil skirt. Yes, I have helmet hair.

Yes, I take pictures after work when I’m a little rumpled. Yes, sometimes I have my husband take them with my phone camera.

Yes, I’m a real person who wears real outfits that aren’t always full of pattern mixing or unique items or avant-garde item pairings.

And I hope that’s why you like me.


SIA: Spring Fabrics

Style Imitating Art

Guess what? It’s my turn to pick the Style Imitating Art inspiration piece this week. Choosing something isn’t as easy as you might think, though! So here was my thought process.

  1. I wanted something related to Chicago somehow.
  2. I wanted something with a lot of colors and patterns.
  3. I wanted something relevant to the season.

Which is how I ended up picking “Spring” by Charles Demuth.



This painting is part of the permanent collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. Painted in 1921 it depicts the sample cards used to advertise new spring fabrics. The Art Institute website writes, “By titling his painting Spring, Demuth wryly highlighted the new reality of American life, in which the changing of seasons was heralded not by nature but by commerce.”

I’m not sure how much I agree with that, considering when I start seeing swimsuits in the store in February I know it’s not summer yet! But, hey, I guess there’s still some truth to the statement.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing the outfits you create based on this artwork. Don’t forget to send them to by 8PM U.S. Central Time on Monday, May 30th so you can be featured in the round-up on the 31st. Mirror selfies and flat lays are more than welcome and you don’t need to be a blogger to participate.

Sweater and Sandals

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Welcome to Chicago in spring. When you can wear a sweater, jeans and sandals at the same time and be perfectly dressed. For like one day.


Sweater – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – LOFT (same) | Sandals – Madden Girl (similar) | Watch – Nixon c/o Shopbop (similar

Bri at Work Clothes, I Suppose chose “warm weather white” as this month’s Third Thursday Threads theme and I kind of laughed. We’re still waiting for consistently warm weather in Chicago so you’re getting an outfit that I’ve also worn with my cheetah print wedge booties! So, you see, this outfit is super versatile and be worn all year round. Well, okay, maybe not when it’s actually warm outside but you get my point.

Also, I have to say, this necklace drove me nuts. It kept flipping around and ending up backwards. Does this drive anyone else nuts?

Also also, I fully admit I wore this outfit to meet Jason and Chewie at the dog park and my jeans stayed relatively clean, even though Chewie makes it his personal mission to jump on me like a crazed animal when I walk through the dog park gates. But, I promise I didn’t Photoshop out any paw prints!



Going to the Dog Prom

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

As promised, I’m going to tell you about where I wore my pretty, fluffy skirt. I wore it to the New Leash on Life 2016 Dog Prom!


See, it all started with a giveaway on Stile Foto Cibo. Dannie was highlighting Autumn, a pup up for adoption through New Leash on Life and doing a giveaway for an adorable shirt from IHeartDogs,com. Well, I entered the giveaway and told Dannie how much I loved her post the next time I saw her at an event.

And then it turned out I won the giveaway! Plus, a few days later Dannie contacted me to invite me to  the NLOL Dog Prom Fundraiser. So, here we are!


Dannie’s skirt is from T&J Designs and mine is from Rent the Runway. Both our shirts are from

I technically went to Dog Prom stag since Chewie doesn’t do well with people when he’s on his leash. But, I made sure to have a picture of him on hand, complete with prom appropriate bow tie.Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 8.39.04 AM

Thankfully there were plenty of other pups on which to love.


I had a great time meeting so many fun pups, seeing their fun outfits, voting for Prom Queen and King, and drinking a beer from Empirical Brewery.

On the way home I decided to stop and take an outfit photo along the lake. And where better to stop than at the dog beach?


So, thank you, Dannie, for introducing me to New Leash on Life, some great pups, and for giving me a reason to rent this awesome skirt.


My Little Fitness Secret


We’re moving Fitness Friday up a few days because I’ve got something fun to share!


This past weekend was an event called Wanderlust 108 and one of the sponsors is Cottonelle®  The goal of Wanderlust is to provide a chance for you to connect with fitness without being overwhelmed or intimidated. To me, the idea is to take you back to when you were a kid and you just “worked out” for fun. Also known as playing.


So, when I was out running and came across this outdoor workout station I knew I wanted to go back and play around. Climb the rope, goof off on the pull-up bar, make my husband take silly pictures. You know, have fun. 



However, I fully admit I have a little secret. Fitness isn’t alway fun for me, even though I might make it seem that way. I was talking to my aunt recently and she wanted to know if I ever think to myself, when I’m standing at the start line (or, heck, in the middle) of a race, “WHY do I do this??” And I said I do. Almost every time. So, yeah, even though I love working out I don’t always love it when I’m doing it!

Another little fitness secret? 99% of the time I’m going commando. I mean, who wants a visible panty line to mar the glutes you’ve worked so hard for? Plus let’s face it, underwear is the last thing you need standing in the way of you and nailing that new one rep max or setting a new personal record.


Of course, since there’s not a lot between my workout pants and the world I want to make sure I’ve got the cleanliness situation under control. So, thank you, Cottonelle® for hooking me up with some products that are perfect for that purpose. Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture bathroom tissue is designed to clean better per sheet versus the leading national value brand.


Cottonelle® wants to hook you up, too! They’ve got some great giveaways going on on their site, including a VIP Lollapalooza experience or a trip to Wanderlust in Miami!

Or, if you’re more interested in instant gratification, you can enter the giveaway here for a Cottonelle® Stylist Kit.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.55.11 PM

Each kit includes a selection of fabulous fitness “must haves” — Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths, Benefit mascara, Dose of Colors lip gloss, Klorane dry shampoo, Emi Jay hair ties, and a plain black baseball cap.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what’s your fitness secret?


The Cottonelle® “Come Clean” Reader Giveaway (“Sweepstakes”) starts at 12:01 a.m. EST on May 9, 2016 and ends at 11: 59 p.m. on May 22, 2016 (the “Entry Period”).

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

SIA: Girl Reading

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Last Monday we unveiled this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge: Young Girl Reading. I fully admit that I procrastinated a bit on this outfit. Even though the painting has a special spot in my heart, it just wasn’t calling out to me to create an outfit.

But then the skirt I was renting for a different event arrived in the mail and I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into my outfit. Even if, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t wear this outfit anywhere other than for photos. I promise, though, the skirt got worn in public (which you’ll see later this week) and the top and cardigan will be worn this week with a pair of white jeans.

Tulle skirt with purple cardigan and heels

Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tee – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Skirt – Rent the Runway (same for sale, same for rent) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar

And, in case you need a refresher, here’s the painting we were interpreting.


What to wear with a tulle skirt

And, yes, I used a book as a prop. I chose one of my favorites, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

Also, since I don’t own anything yellow, when I ran past this little spot on the UIC campus I knew I wanted to take my pictures here. That rock takes care of my yellow needs!

These photos were taken kind of last minute since my weekend was jam packed! The weather was cruddy on Saturday so I just did the basics…except for going to dinner with a blog reader who is moving to Chicago next month! She and her husband were in town to find a place to live and after their successful day of finding a great apartment and signing a lease we met up for dinner at MAD Social.

Sunday I spent most of my day at a fundraiser for New Leash on Life…which is where I wore this skirt originally (but with a different shirt and shoes). I took these photos on the way home after changing in the car. Ah, the life of a style blogger.

Semi-casual tulle skirt outfit

Lousy Smarch Weather

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Okay, yes, it’s technically May and not Smarch (although, I don’t think anyone is super sure when Smarch even is…) but I’m still going to quote The Simpsons to reference how I feel about May.

April showers do not bring May flowers. They bring…more showers.

So, it’s back to some indoor photos.


Sweatshirt – Stitch Fix (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (similar

Also, I got my hair cut and I’m still trying to figure out how to look less like a drowned rat after going to the gym at lunch. Even my hair dryer tricks aren’t working right now. It’s one of the reasons I actually prefer my hair long. It just works better for my lifestyle. But, hey, it’s hair. It grows back.