Chicago // Recap

October 17, 2014
I mentioned earlier this week that ryan whisked me away to chicago for the weekend to celebrate my 31st birthday and I have finally sorted through all our photos (I took a ton!) to share today. 

(john hancock building's bar on the 95th floor  /  smile  /  views of chicago  /  looking down on lakeshore drive  /  john hancock building from the ground)

To start, I had never been to the 'windy city' before but it was at the top of my list of destinations to visit. And the city did not disappoint. Honestly, it might have been one of the best trips I have been on in a very long time.

The energy.
The fresh air.
The food.
The friends we got to spend so much wonderful time with.
The views.
Oh and the food... again!

(views down the river out to lake michigan  /  walking around millennium park  /  the infamous bean  /  gorgeous foliage in so many shades)

Our friends chuck and jaime hosted us for the long weekend and put so much time planning activities, dinners and exploring for us prior to our arrival. It seems like we popped in and out of so many neighborhoods throughout our 3 days too... the west loop, lakeview, lincoln park, de paul, the loop, michigan ave and logan square. We had amazing dinners that I am already wanting to relive at chicago q and the publican plus endless tasty cocktails at drum bar, bar takito, la sirena, the signature room and lone wolf.

(ryan and I sight seeing  /  deep dish pizza at uno  /  brownstone steps decorate for halloween  /  millennium park)

We spent 2+ hours in the year-old eataly restaurants/shops... gobbling up fresh pasta, sipping wine and drooling over the cases of charcuterie, fromage and pastries. My favorite activity of the weekend was the architectural boat tour we took on friday which gave us great views of the city. Learning about all the architectural styles was also really fun and made me appreciate even the simplest of buildings in the skyline so much more. We of course had to eat some authentic deep dish pizza too, so we bellied up to the bar at pizzeria uno which swore they were the first deep dish restaurant of the city (but I am guessing this might be up for debate by anyone born and raised in chicago).

(views of the city on our architectural boat tour)

Our last day, my actual birthday, was celebrated with brunch at longman & eagle, a hipster spot that had a great bloody mary and some seriously delicious duck hash and cheesy grits! After brunch we strolled the streets of armitage ave, enjoying the sunshine and brisk fall air. I did not want the day to end as I knew that meant our departure of a city I was falling head over heels for.

(jaime x2  /  entrance to chicago q  /  subway  /  publican dining room  /  birthday bloody mary  /  publican signage)

Simply put, chicago stole my heart and I cannot wait to go back. I think my love for urban metropolis mixed with coastal views is why I feel so connected to chicago... just like my other favorite u.s. city, san francisco. My 31st birthday really kicked off with a bang; thank you to ryan, chuck + jaime for making it one that I will never forget!

This Weekend You Could...

laugh until your cheeks hurt, bob saget is in town performing at comedy works

take in a live show, paramount, boulder theatre, bluebird and ogden theatre all have some awesome lineups for emerging acts

cheer on the denver broncos as they take on colin kaepernick and the san francisco 49ers

a-basin ski resort will be the first to open this season, take a couple runs down the man-made snow hills

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I have had some photoshop issues which has prolonged me posting all my photos from chicago. Hopefully things will be up and running tomorrow! 

Sound Sleep // 18 Bad Habits To Break Now

October 15, 2014
Sleep is so important to our well-being. I am one of those people who needs her sleep and I often get 8-9 hours a night which is essential to my energy, mood and productivity. However, after reading elizabeth narins' article, 18 bad sleeping habits to break now, I am thinking there are some major adjustments that I need to consider making to improve my sleeping pattern. Below are a few of my favorites and one I will have to chat with my husband about... 

#18... rocco might be moving to the floor!

(source unknown)

2) You only use your pillows for your head.
 If you sleep on your back, wedge one under your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Or if you sleep on your side, wedge a pillow underneath your top armpit to support your arm and one between your legs to keep your spine aligned.

3) You sleep on your stomach. Sleeping facedown can cause some obvious issues — like not being able to breathe, for example. Because you need to turn your head to one side to get air in and out, you inherently twist your spine. Over time, this can cause neck and back pain (not to mention issues falling and staying asleep).

5) You don't have a bedtime. When you crash hard at 9 p.m. on Monday night and stay up all night Tuesday to binge-watch your Netflix queue, your body won't know when to shut down on Wednesday night. A consistent sleep schedule helps your body know when it's time to fall asleep and wake up.

6) You sleep in on weekends. Think you can run on no sleep all week and catch up Saturday morning? Recent research suggests skimping on sleep can actually lead to permanent brain damage that can compromise your alertness and brain power — and binge-sleeping can't mend that.

7) You go to sleep on a full stomach. Whenever you eat dinner less than three hours before bedtime, you put yourself at risk for heartburn and indigestion, which can make it tough to doze off. Keep late-night snacks light, and always avoid fatty, fried, or spicy foods before bed.

9) You sleep in fetal position. This side-sleeper tendency can restrict your breath and compromise the quality of your sleep. Wedge a body pillow under your top arm and leg to unwind your limbs and lengthen your spine. Even if you kick it away at some point during the night, you'll at least get some good quality sleep. 

10) You sleep on a mattress that's older than you. Most inner spring mattresses only last for five or 10 years, max, depending on the quality of your mattress, your weight, and how much time you spend in bed.

14) You sleep with your phone, or use your computer or TV before bed. These screens emit blue light that activates your brain and interferes with your body's natural sleep cycle. Ideally, leave your phone outside your room while you sleep.

16) You sleep in a room that's too hot or cold. Temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees will disrupt sleep. Recent research suggests that sleeping in a room that's about 66 degrees can increase your metabolism.

18) You sleep with your pet. Sixty-three percent of pet owners who sleep beside their pets sleep poorly more often than not, according to research presented at a recent annual associated professional sleep societies meeting. 

interested in all the 18 tips, click here for the full article.