Hey friends! Happy Tuesday to you! I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Friday seems like ages ago, and yet, the weekend passed by super fast thanks to a fun mix of outings, relaxing, and teaching. We didn’t go into the weekend with many plans, but it ended up being an absolute blast…lots of quality time with my favorite human in the world (Matt would roll his eyes big time at this statement, but it’s true)!
As usual, I taught Friday evening and since I had to be up early to teach Saturday morning as well, we kept things low key with a pasta dinner and a few episodes of the documentary the Keepers. For our pasta dinner, I grabbed some lentil pasta at Whole Foods along with Italian chicken sausage. Matt ate his with red sauce, while I opted for a garlic & olive oil topping, then added some spinach into it as well.
If you enjoy documentaries, I highly recommend the Keepers, which is on Netflix. The series examines the unsolved, 1969 murder of a nun named Sister Cathy. Former students of Sister Cathy dig deep into the awful events that may have led to Sister Cathy’s murder, and along the way uncover layers upon layers of cover-ups and lies. Though the content of the series is upsetting, I think the documentary was incredibly well-done, and highlights the importance of journalists in cases where the truth has been disguised by authority figures and people in power.
I actually struggled to fall asleep Friday night…a mix of feeling a bit unnerved from the Keepers, and knowing I had to be up bright and early, made for a restless night’s sleep, but I made it through and ended up having an awesome day! The sunshine and warm temperatures definitely gave me the extra energy I needed. I taught 2 classes at Pure Barre, then stayed after to chat with clients and tidy up the studio.
I headed home and quickly whipped up scrambled eggs, topped with salsa and ate them alongside some juicy strawberries.
I also dove into a package of energy bites from Whole Foods (found near the “make your own nut butter” section). I wasn’t crazy about the energy bites, but it did remind me that I need to get back into making my own energy bars and bites. I absolutely love the mango bars I made last year…so tasty and easy! Recipe here.
After lunch, Matt headed to the gym in our building for a workout, so I took a shower and got ready for the rest of the day. We knew we wanted to sit outside, but left our afternoon agenda open-ended. Once we were both freshened up, we grabbed a cab and headed to the West Loop neighborhood, thinking our first destination would be Federales. There was a huge line for the outdoor dining area, so we decided to keep walking and ended up choosing Parlor Pizza as our first stop.
Even though there was a wait there as well, it was much quicker and we were able to get drinks at the bar while we waited. I enjoyed a refreshing citrus-y cocktail and before we knew it, our table was ready.
Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, so to sit outside with a cold drink and enjoy the sunshine felt amazing. Funny thing…we kept noticing this chatter around us and other patrons looking in this one direction…finally, we realized it was because Derrick Rose (of the Chicago Bulls) was sitting there. Pretty darn cool!
We ordered the “Save the Last Ranch” pizza to split, but to be honest, we weren’t crazy about it. I think we ordered too quickly because there were several other options way more up our alley, but when you’re hungry and distracted by celeb sightings, it’s easy to prematurely order.
Once we finished our pizza, we got antsy and wanted to move around, so we left and explored the neighborhood a bit (which is essentially walking around and Matt giving me lessons on each building, the company who owns, etc. etc.) We didn’t want to head home, but felt like we’d walked around enough so decided to pop into Cruz Blanca (the newest Rick Bayless restaurant) for one last patio drink.
Cruz Blanca was actually on my summer bucket list, and I was surprised at how casual it is. You order your drinks at the bar (I believe the same goes for food) and seat yourself. The margarita was absolutely delicious, and the small outdoor dining space was perfect, much less crowded than Parlor had been, which was what we were looking for.
Feeling nice and saucy from margaritas (kidding), we took off for one more spin around the main streets of the West Loop, then hopped in a cab and headed home. After a quick swap into warmer clothes, we decided to walk around and get some errands done. Whole Foods was our last stop of the evening -we grabbed a salmon burger and a steak kabob to grill for dinner, and of course, a carton of butter pecan ice-cream. Then, it was home to grill and relax. We watched the movie Get Out, which was on the scarier side, so of course I was uneasy once again come bedtime.
It felt awesome to sleep in on Sunday, since Saturday had been an early wake-up for me. My sleep hasn’t been great (I think from some inconsistency in my schedule/routine), so the extra hours were more than appreciated. The highlight of Sunday for me was a long walk around downtown Chicago (all in all, our morning excursion was about 5 miles.) Matt suggested we stop into the Chicago Athletic Association building, and perhaps try to sneak up to Cindy’s rooftop for a quick drink.
Now, I was wearing workout gear (baseball cap and all) and was under the impression one would be shooed away from the popular rooftop if not dressed to the nines, but in typical Matt fashion, he brushed away my worries and said, “doesn’t matter!” I’m so glad he did because you definitely do not have to be dressed up to enjoy Cindy’s! It was a smaller space than I imagined, but still outstanding views and a lovely atmosphere. We told the hostess we just wanted to grab some quick drinks and check out the view, which is totally acceptable and many others were doing the same!
We lucked out and found 2 open spots to sit while we sipped on drinks: a mimosa for Matt and a matcha latte for me. Since the drinks are on the pricier side, we kept it to one and left once we had our fill of rooftop gazing.
Then it was off to Millennium Park to check out Lurie Garden. You guys, the flowers were breathtaking…the most vivid purple flowers and green grasses, against the skyline, makes for such a beautiful sight.
A little more walking around Millennium Park, before we knew we needed to eat something…we stopped by Wildberry, close to the park, but the line was too long for us. We started walking home and stopped on the way to pick up some breakfast sausage and a few other items to make a fun brunch at home.
We split a giant omelet (made by yours truly) and ate it along with maple breakfast sausage, toast smothered in Kite Hill Chive spread, and some strawberries- it hit the spot! Once brunch was done, we had to face the facts…the apartment needed a good cleaning. Pans all over the kitchen, a full sink, and a dish-washer that hadn’t been emptied, put us into a much-needed cleaning frenzy. Once cleaning was complete, Matt wanted to do a workout video and politely asked I leave him be to do so…I headed down to our building’s gym to do a super light, but fun workout. I jogged a bit on the treadmill then put together a random ab/cardio circuit.
- Alternating jumping lunges – 10 each side
- Russian twists (with medicine ball) – 20
- Bosu Ball Push-ups – 10
- Weighted jumping jacks -20
- Forearm plank – 1 minute
I cannot say I went balls to the walls here…since we had already walked a lot that day, I took my time and just had fun. I repeated it 3x, then got a text from Matt saying he had abandoned his workout and it was okay to return. (We always take turns doing workouts in our living room, which some people think is hilarious, but we both love videos and we have awesome adjustable weights, so it’s often easier to get it done in our own apartment!)
I inhaled an RX bar after my workout, then showered and got ready for dinner. Matt and I both love Mexican food, so we ended up going to one of our favorite nearby Mexican restaurants that serves up delicious plates, fast.
It was the perfect choice because I had to work Monday morning, so we didn’t want to be out too late. I think we were in and out in 40 minutes or less. The rest of Sunday night was devoted to finishing the Keepers.
Monday morning I was up early to teach 2 Memorial Day classes! I actually felt pretty exhausted, but the energy of clients always helps me feel more alert! After classes, I swung by a nearby Nordstrom to pick up a sun hat that has been on my wardrobe wish list for a year! I finally caved and bought this hat I’d been coveting, because I know I’ll use it all the time this summer, and hey, it’s good sun protection!
Once I was back home, I whipped up some avocado toast with everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. I also had some leftover omelet, pineapple, and almonds. Matt and I stopped by our friends’ place for a quick drink, then it was off to my parents’ for one final weekend BBQ. My parents ended up choosing the same Whole Foods kabobs we had Saturday night, but since they were so freaking tasty, we didn’t care.
Matt and I headed home pretty quickly after dinner because I was exhausted and felt crabbiness starting to creep up…we watched 2 episodes of Bloodline Season 3 (one of my all-time favorite shows), um, yet another, creepy/scary series…I’m on a creepy television roll, and finished off our butter pecan ice cream. We both said this week needs to be a detox of sorts, since we’ve eaten out so much lately and indulged in our fair share of cocktails!
I will say, this weekend was so much fun, though a bit exhausting when all was said and done. I love exploring Chicago, especially with Matt, and I find that when we don’t worry about making set plans, we end up having more fun and being more adventurous. Cindy’s and Cruz Blanca had been on my bucket list, and we tackled them both in 24 hours! I highly recommend checking out Cindy’s on a warm, blue-sky day, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee! Also, seriously go take a look at Lurie Garden- there is so much to see/do around Millennium Park- it’s well worth it!
And last, I just want to give thanks to all who have served or currently serve our country and make our freedom possible.
That’s a wrap for today! My goal today is to work on an easy recipe for Mexican meatloaf so I can get that recipe up this week.
Have an awesome week everyone!