October 2014 Recap

Oh, hello December! I’ve been meaning to get around to the recap posts for awhile (since I know those are the ones you really like to read Grandma ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but I was really motivated to post some book reviews and recipes the past few weeks so I went with that instead. But never fear, the recaps are back!



I read 5 books in October, and they were all pretty good reads. I loved The Shadow of the Wind, and I also thought In Cold Blood and The Sun Also Rises were great as well. As of October 31, I have logged 48 books for the year!

Books read:

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

2.ย The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

3.ย Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

5.ย Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway


Recipes Posted:

1. Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup


I did pretty good in the fitness department in October. Obviously 64 isn’t as many miles as I might have liked, but it’s the best I’d done in several months!



Although we didn’t win the World Series (we came SO close), I still had a really great time watching the Royals! My parents happened to be visiting in early October, so I even got to take in a few games with them. I also gave myself a baseball inspired manicure!


This is not a great picture, but as you can see the lettering came out really nice. I also attempted to free-hand a baseball, but it didn’t turn out as well. It wasn’t my biggest nail-art fail, but it’s not really blog worthy. I’ll have to make another attempt during the next baseball season!


Fun things I did in October:

1) Attended a Northwestern Football game



Honestly, it was one of the more miserable football experiences I’ve had–it was cold, rainy, and windy. Yuck. It was all worth it in the end though because the cats pulled out a surprise win against Wisconsin!!!!


2) Celebrated Elizabeth’s birthday


Love this picture!

3) Attended Beth’s Wedding

K and I also traveled to Philadelphia in October to attend the wedding of our friends Beth and Andy. Neither of us had ever been to Philadelphia before (and honestly we spent almost no time in the city itself) but we thought the city was really pretty (from the train window) and that the public transportation was great.

The day of the wedding was a little chilly and rainy, but that didn’t stop these two from making the most of their big day. They had a beautiful ceremony and were greeted by a fountain of bubbles on the way out of the church.


Of course many of the bubble-blowers were scientists, and we were all really fascinated with how the bubbles clustered and didn’t pop on this bush…

10257720_10100559352569771_3416277451945756644_oThe reception was so nice and very well planned. We really enjoyed all the delicious food! ๐Ÿ™‚


Thanks for inviting us to your wedding Andy and Beth. We wish you many happy years together!



Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday Thoughts (on a Friday) 39.0: September Recap

Well hello there! I’ve been working on this post for two weeks and it’s finally finished! Life is busy folks, but life is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I’d like to take a moment here just to say: THE ROYALS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO!!!!!!! It’s been a long, long time coming and obviously I’m REALLY excited about it. Now, back to regularly scheduled programming…



After flying through 7 books in August, I read a much more modest 3 in September. Luckily, they were all good ones!

Books read:

1.ย A Little Bit Wicked by Kristen Chenoweth and Joni Rodgers

2. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

3. The Smart Way to Your Ph.D. by Dora Farkas


September…not my best month in the physical fitness department. Between group meetings, fellowship reports, traveling, and the gym being closed for part of the month it was difficult to find the time to fit a good workout in. Regardless, I did better than August. Boom.


As I mentioned last month, I have revised my 2014 fitness goal from completing 1000 miles of cardio to beating the total from last year (872 miles). As of the end of September, I have completed 553 miles. Only 320 to go….


I went to a lovely wedding in September (more on that below) and of course that gave me the perfect excuse to give myself a manicure! I splurged and bought myself this nice mint polish to match my dress.



Fun things I did in September:

1) Enjoyed a nice dinner at the Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. with K


2) Attended my cousin’s wedding in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO

In late September, K and I traveled to the beautiful state of Colorado for my cousin Morgan’s wedding. We flew into Denver and were picked up by my parents at the airport (thanks guys!). Then, we began the beautiful and windy 2-3 hour-ish drive through the mountains. It was SO BEAUTIFUL and we made it in time to see the aspen trees begin to change color:


One thing that surprised me about the drive was how much the altitude affected me. I’d always kind of cynically assumed people were exaggerating when they complained of headaches, shortness of breath etc. Boy was I wrong–I had quite a headache for the first day. It went away eventually, but never again will I make light of the whole “altitude sickness” thing.


What a view!

After arriving at our hotel and checking in, we met up with my grandma and my aunt for dinner.

The next morning we took a short drive to Fish Creek Falls with my parents and my grandma. The drive up to the park was beautiful, and the entry fee is only $5 per car. There were several hiking trails, including a very nice and very mild 1/4 mile gravel trail up to the waterfall. We were mostly there to see the famous waterfall, which inspired in the original Coors Beer can, but the views along the way were well worth the $5 entry fee.




The falls!

That evening, after enjoying some family time at the rehearsal dinner, some of the family took advantage of one of our hotel’s fire pits. We had snacks and some drinks–it was a very nice time!


The wedding ceremony was held the next afternoon. The weather was beautiful for nearly the entire day, but an hour before the ceremony was to begin storm clouds moved in. Normally this wouldn’t be cause for alarm, but since the wedding was to be held outdoors on a golf course (with really beautiful views of the mountains) we were all hoping the weather would hold out. Regardless of these fears, the ceremony began. My grandma arrived in style on a golf cart (not pictured here) and was escorted down the aisle by my cousin Josh.


ย One of my favorite things about the ceremony was the couple’s use of their dog as a “ring dog.” So cute! I loved it!!!!


Finally it was time for the beautiful bride to walk down the aisle. She smiled the whole time and looked so happy!


The ceremony was lovely and the rain held off until just after the ceremony concluded. I’m so happy they got to have the ceremony they wanted without any nasty weather interfering.


The happy couple!


After the ceremony, we headed to the reception for some great food and good times with family.


Thanks for sharing your special day with us Morgan and Jeff. It was great!


Hope you have a great weekend!

My First Visit To Wrigley Field

Recently, my department purchased tickets for a Chicago Cubs game versus the Atlanta Braves. I love baseball (go Royals!), but am undecided as to how I feel about the Cubs. My feelings for the Braves on the other hand are NOT lukewarm, and I have a intense dislike of the team from hot-lanta. Is it because they beat my team in a hotly contested game? No, and lets be honest the Royals haven’t exactly been a tough team to beat for most of my life (but I still love them). Is it for some other silly reason (i.e. dislike of the mascot, team colors, etc). Nope, none of those things particularly bother me either. So what is it then? Only the most logical reason for disliking something–television.

Did anyone else have this experience in the 1990’s: You return home from a long day of school and turn on TBS expecting to see this

But instead saw this

Yes, that’s right Ted Turner. I haven’t forgotten.

Needless to say, I wasn’t very excited about rooting for either team (although I did end up cheering for the Cubs) so I decided to think of it as a trip to Wrigley Field. Previously, I’d passed by Wrigley dozens of times on the El and have been to Wrigleyville many times, but I’d never actually set foot in the ballpark before. So as you can see, I was pretty excited on the way in:

Once we were in the ballpark, we found our seats and set out to find food and beverages. Wrigley Field does offer a plethora of food and beverage choices, but you’d better save your pennies before coming to the ballpark to make a purchase. For example, this Old Style shown below costs $7.50.

Hand model–the lovely Kayla

Once we made it back to our seats we scoped out the field…

..the Wrigley Rooftop seats, which are located on buildings adjacent to Wrigley Field….

…and the famous ivy-covered outfield wall.

Then the game began. For the first several innings the game was somewhat uneventful. So much so that I asked my friend Bernie to take a picture of me and my friends Elizabeth and Kayla. As he was set to take the picture, the Cubs hit a home run which diverted our attention…

Bernie was (understandably) somewhat upset that he had potentially missed the only Cubs home run of the game. But, being the nice guy that he is he agreed to take another picture of us. As he was set to take the next picture, the Cubs hit ANOTHER home run…

Sorry Bernie! We did finally get it right though:

Thanks in large part to the two home runs that occurred during our photography session, the Cubs won 5-1! After the game, we stopped at El Burrito Mexicano as I mentioned in a previous post. Kayla and I had a delicious burrito and then we all hopped back on the red line to go home.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Wrigley Field and I’m glad I got to experience it with great friends!