Monthly Archives: October 2017

Black Cat [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

It’s Monday and that means the start of a new week and the start of a new Style Imitating Art challenge! This week it’s Salazar’s turn to pick. She chose “Kuroki Neko”, aka “Black Cat”, a painting by Japanese artist Hishida Shunso. The colors and subject matter are perfect for the fall, and of course, a black cat is perfect for Halloween.


As always, we encourage everyone to participate! Take a picture of your an outfit you wore inspired by this artwork and send it to by Tuesday, November 7th so you can be included in the round-up.

It’s toss up for me whether I go with gray and tan or if I go full black cat. Stay tuned to see!

Muscles and Meals Vol. 1


I’ve been toying with the idea of sharing my weekly dinner menus for awhile now. I know that coming up with meal ideas is a struggle for a lot of people and while I also know that I am A. not a food blog and B. there are a lot of other meal plan food bloggers out there, I thought it would be a fun way to share something other than just what I wore.

I also figured that I could combine it with telling more about my workouts. I fully admit that I am bummed that I kind of quit blogging my workouts when I got swamped with marathon training and moving. I like having those things to look back on! And, let’s be honest, I blog for myself as much as I do those of you who read this thing.

So, without further ado, here’s what I did in the gym and in the kitchen this week. Note: I am not a food photographer so if there are food pictures it’s because they’re from the person who originally posted the recipe.


I fully intended to go for a run, but it was cold and raining and I wanted to make my menu and grocery list before I headed out to the Northside Pop-Up Bazaar. So, no workout today.

Dinner, though? Big winner! I made easy pork posole from the latest Cooking Light magazine. I swapped out the quinoa for kale, though, since Jason doesn’t like quinoa. I also cut up an avocado as a topper.


It made enough for two of us for dinner and then three lunches. I LOVE having leftovers for lunch. So easy.


Deadlift day at the gym!

My workout?

  • 5×5 sumo deadlifts
  • 3×8 Single leg Romanian deadlifts
  • 5×8 Lateral lunges
  • 5×8 Single leg hip extensions
  • 21-15-9-6
    • Kettlebell Swings
    • Box jumps

Dinner was Chicken Enchilada Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Peppers that I prepped on Sunday. I went out for drinks after work with my female coworkers so I wanted something that Jason could just toss in the oven. I made these with ground chicken but otherwise kept the recipe the same. Also a winner.


Tuesdays I workout with my personal trainer and focus on chest, back and arms. We did regular bench press, close grip bench press, decline rows, seated rows, and bicep curls.

Tuesdays are also taco night at our house. Nothing super special here. Just ground turkey with store-bought taco seasoning and shells. Add cheese, guacamole, hot sauce or salsa and serve with roasted green beans. Done.


Normally I do cardio on Wednesdays but I had a lunch meeting and wasn’t able to hit the gym during my usual time. So, no workout Wednesday.

I made Korean Sheet Pan Chicken & Veggies with rice for dinner. Who doesn’t love a one-pan meal? Well, one-pan minus the pot in the rice cooker, of course.


Thursdays equal squats days!

  • 5×3 Front Squats
  • 4×12 banded clams
  • 5×15 hip extensions
  • 5×15 goblet squats
  • 2×4 leg press drop sets

Jason and I went out to dinner before attending The Magic Parlour event at the Palmer House Hilton. We had a GREAT time! Even Jason, who is a huge skeptic, was amazed and enjoyed himself. And since the audience is small and intimate, everyone gets to participate. Including me.



My Friday workouts always involve overhead presses of some kind. Overhead presses are my weakest lift as well as my least favorite. I think there’s a correlation there.

  • 5×5 Overhead Barbell Press
  • 4×12 External Rotation
  • 5×8 Kettelbell Z-Sit Press
  • 5×8 narrow grip landmine row
  • 5×6 Power clean
  • 5×12 Wallballs

Then for dinner the plan is to make Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. And a salad. Need to get in some greens! I’ve made this recipe a few times before but back when I was counting every single macro I put into my mouth it wouldn’t have made the cut. I miss being super ripped but I don’t miss having to figure out all the fat, carbs, and protein I should or could eat in a day.



This will probably be a rest day, too. Jason and Annabelle are going car racing and I hope to go watch them. I also plan to put this Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe into the slow cooker before I head out. I don’t have the best luck with slow cooker recipes, though, so keep your fingers crossed!

So, what do you think? Did you see any recipes you want to try?

All the angel applications

Style Imitating Art

Welcome to this week’s Style Imitating Art round-up! Quite a few of our usuals played along with their gray-themed outfits.


Original post

First up, we have Kezzie! Of course I enjoy her gray and black outfit, but I also love the backdrop!
face the raven 2

Next is co-host Salazar who says she was actually wearing this outfit when I sent her the inspiration artwork. Clearly our styles are currently on the same wavelength.


Mike went with all black so that his bag could be the focal point. The gray and white stripes are a great way to interpret the painting!

Angel Applicant SIA 1

Then we have co-host Jen who found the one minor spot of color in the painting – a bit of pink near the eyes! And this is why I love Jen, you guys. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s amazing at seeing the details in everything!


Jen wasn’t the only one who found the one non-gray or black spot in the painting! Annabelle got in on the action showcasing this vibrant pink lace vest.


Finally, there’s me in probably the comfiest outfit I currently own.


Overall, I think we all did a wonderful job this week. We all qualify as angels, yes? I really enjoyed seeing all the different interpretations of such a simply colored piece of art.

Didn’t get a chance to participate this week? That’s okay! Stay tuned for next Monday when we reveal the next inspiration piece!


A little gray angel [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

The last time I went to the Moonfish pop-up I tried on a lot of different things and almost came home with a dark teal cowl necked sweater. And then I saw this beauty and I knew I wanted it instead. Because, as I mentioned, I’m all about the grays and blacks right now. Hence this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge!


scarf – Moonfish | top – Moonfish | same jeans | same booties

Speaking of Moonfish, the next pop-up is in the city at my friend Annabelle’s store front on November 18th and 19th! That’s right! I love Moonfish so much that I basically brought it to me.


In other news, work is crazy busy right now and we’re moving towards the busier season for the half marathon I also work for. I’m still helping out Annabelle with her LuLaRoe business and we’re thinking about pivoting a little bit to also use her store front for events (stay tuned for that information).

I’m also still volunteering in a leadership position for Toastmasters and that takes up some time, too. I have a few other things on my plate that I think I need to step back from, though. Do you say “yes” to everything? I’m still working on not doing that!

However, I did say “yes” to attending a magic show event this coming Thursday. We’re supposed to wear cocktail attire! I’ll finally get a chance to bust out a dress I haven’t worn in awhile. Now I just have to pick which one.

And don’t forget you can still submit your outfit inspired by this week’s artwork pick. Just snap a photo and email it to me at by Tuesday evening. You don’t have to use a fancy camera; a camera phone works just fine! Chewie told me he wants you to participate.



Delayed trip to the Galaxy

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

So, remember when I posted that awesome mural titled “Galaxy” but then never posted the outfit I was inspired to wear? Well, I did share my outfit in Jen’s round-up and on Instagram, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.

IMG_5384 (1)

However, it ended up some getting some wonderful compliments! I chose this t-shirt because it’s a reference to the book/movie The Martian and when you’re interpreting a painting titled “Galaxy” you have to wear something space-related, right?


I went with my olive colored pants and my denim jacket to pick up some of the other colors in the mural. Admittedly, as I mentioned on Monday, I’ve really been feeling blacks and grays lately so I struggled to come up with a colorful outfit.


I also struggled to get a photo because it’s starting to get dark by the time I get home from work and fall in Chicago typically means rain. Thank goodness for our covered deck and its fun party lights! They kind of look like stars, right?


Anyway, I very thankful for the compliments people gave me on my outfit, both on Jen’s blog and on Instagram. It helped me get over feeling “blah” about it and inspired me to post it. Even if IS a bit delayed.

similar pants | similar shoes | similar tee | similar jacket

Angel Applicant [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

This week it’s my turn to choose the art for our Style Imitating Art challenge and I wanted something that went with my current aesthetic: simple, black, gray and white. I also figured that since we’re coming up on Halloween that maybe something just a little bit Halloween-ish would be fun.

Hence, this week’s choice of “Angel Applicant” by Paul Klee.


Definitely looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this! Will you go with the colors? Will you go with the lines? Will you go with something graphic?

Whatever you choose, just snap a photo of your outfit and send it to by Tuesday, October 24th to be included in the round-up on the 25th.



Booties and a dress plus a vest is best

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

One of the best parts of having a friend with a shop full of clothing is getting to play dress up when I go over there. A few weeks ago, I was wearing this dress and booties when I showed up at Annabelle’s. I found this awesome duster vest in her racks and immediately put it on.


Dress from Moonfish (similar) | similar booties | Vest from Belle on the Roe | similar necklace

I ended up loving this outfit so much that I borrowed the vest and wore it to a Chicagogrammers outing at Joy District. Amusingly, the style name of this vest is “Joy”. So, yes, I wore a Joy to Joy District.

Thanks to Maggie for pointing that out.


I have not yet added this vest to my closet, but there’s a good chance it will happen. I feel like a vest just adds that little extra something. And when it’s not quite cold enough to break out the puffy vests a lightweight one like this can be that perfect “completer piece”.


In other news, I’m still on the fence about booties and dresses or skirts. But, the more I see other people wearing them the more comfortable I am, In fact, I got a lovely compliment on my booties from another Chicagogrammer so clearly the combo doesn’t look as weird on me as I thought it might.  So, yay for that!

Your thoughts on booties and dresses? I’d be curious to see if they’ve changed since the last time I posted about it.



A Galaxy of Inspiration [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

A while back one of our long-time Style Imitating Art participants, Mike, sent us photos of a mural that had recently been painting in the library where he works. Titled “Galaxy” and painted by Julie Hogarth, it has tons of beautiful, rich colors to use as inspiration.


Honestly, Julie could come paint this in my house and I’d be okay with that! I have some empty basement walls that could use some color.

As for an outfit, I don’t know what I’ll be wearing, but I won’t be lacking in colors from which to pick!

If you’re inspired to create an outfit from this work of art just snap a picture (selfies and flat-lays work, too) and send it to by Tuesday, October 10th to be included in the round-up on Jen’s blog on October 11th.