December was a wild ride. It started out fast and busy, but things slowed way down following Christmas (and I was able to get lots of extra reading in). Here are the highlights from the month:
We kicked off the first of December with my annual work holiday party. There were not quite as many people in attendance as usual, but it is always a good time with good stories to be had by those who were there 😉
My friend Andrea hosted a My Favorite Things Party based on the concept of Oprah’s My Favorite Things. There were only four of us there, and we each brought the same gift (our favorite thing of 2017) to share with each person. It was tons of fun to see what everyone would bring, and I do hope it becomes an annual tradition. Andrea also made tons of desserts that were DELICIOUS and added to the whole fun of the evening.
December is definitely a time for friendly gatherings, and this month was no exception. I watched Bad Moms with some coworkers one evening, attended a holiday party that my friend Margaret threw, went to my friend Shannon’s After Christmas PJ party, and spent a little time with my friend Janet and her family who were home for the holidays from Belgium. They all had different vibes, but they were all super fun and a great chance to bond with my friends.
I have a surprising number of friends with December birthdays. I wasn’t able to celebrate them all, but I hope I at least acknowledged all of them….December gets so crazy so I’m not totally sure this happened. My friend Kristy turned 40, and she wanted to do an Escape Room. I’ve never done one before, and they are definitely more tricky then I anticipated, but it was definitely a good time!
My nephew celebrated his 9th birthday and we celebrated with a fun party complete with a doughnut tower cake followed by one of his hockey games. They don’t come much sweeter and funnier than this guy!
I took my first hand lettering class at the Paper Source, and it will not be my last. We were able to bring in our own snacks and wine, and our instructor was delightful. I highly recommend the experience!
Christmas was an awesome time with family featuring lots of good food, amazing gifts, quality time with some of my favorite people as well as Star Wars. We saw the newest movie in 4D on Christmas Day. It wasn’t the best Star Wars movie ever (and keep in mind I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan), and you can totally skip the 4D. It sounded good in theory, but we were all done with the moving seats by the end!
My niece is still into going shopping for her birthday and Christmas instead of me buying her gifts. I keep making the most of it, because I know it will not last forever, but it is one of my favorite things to do all year. She selected Chipotle for lunch this time around.
My friends Meghan and Maura and I have a tradition of going out for an amazing dinner and cocktails on the evening of New Years. This was our third year! We are home before midnight, but it is an awesome way to end the year. This year we went to Wildfire, and had some amazing steaks and martinis! YUM!
Books Completed: 11
Best books of the month: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
I filled y’all in last month on the start of My 13 Beverages of Christmas Challenge. Well…I knew I could nail that one, and nail it I did. I earned two shirts by Christmas Eve. Thanks Tuscan Market for the good times! #goals
I help facilitate the 4th and 5th grade book club at school, and the last several weeks we read Dash by Kirby Larson, which focuses on the Japanese internment here in American during World War II. The kids loved the book, and as a wrap-up, my friend Sharon came to talk about her parents’ experiences at an internment camp. I’ve heard her presentation before, and it is always fascinating and a great learning experience for me. The kids also learned so much by speaking with her!
I love to gift books to all the little favorites in my life. This year I came across BabyLit books for babies/toddlers that feature learning concepts (ex: counting, shapes, Spanish, etc.) in the context of classic books that we all know and love. There are soooooo many options, and they were very well received as gifts. I thought they were pretty cute!
One of the gifts I was most hoping to get this year was the Qardio scale. It is a smart scale that tracks so much more than weight, and it automatically connects to the app on your phone. I have already set it up and I’m totally in love (other than the numbers it is showing). I’ll have to let you know what I think a few weeks from now.
What were some of the exciting things that happened to you this month?
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done a monthly wrap up. I’m actually excited to put this together, because it has been so long since I’ve shared glimpses of my life with all of you. Here is what I am grateful for this month:
We celebrated a friend’s 40th birthday with a Three’s Company themed party (which is also turning 40 this year). This is a great theme for a party if you are looking for one. We had themed apps (Reagle Beagles, Jack Dipper), a Three’s Company drink (vodka, cranberry, and pineapple), and we played a fun Three’s Company drinking game while watching old episodes of the show.
The following weekend, I celebrated another friend’s birthday party. This event was more low key but did involve holiday crafts and Hallmark holiday movies….things you can never go wrong with.
I went birthday shopping with my niece, which has become my favorite tradition with her. She is now 12 so I am making the most of these shopping trips because I know that soon she will probably choose the cash over shopping with her old aunt.
Thanksgiving this year was a low key affair with just myself, my parents, and my brother and his family. We watched football, stuffed ourselves silly, and played a couple of rounds of Clue (which I happened to win one round of).
Since I am in a new home this year, I was able to get a live Christmas tree for the first time in 12 years! It was so exciting to go through the process of selecting the tree and getting it all set up. I also had access to all of my holiday decorations that I’ve had stored at my parents house for years. This move has had many benefits, and the tree and decorations are high on that list.
My friends and I usually spend a day over Thanksgiving weekend kicking off the 12 Beers of Xmas at a local establishment. As a non-beer drinker, I’m never able to earn the free shirt for finishing……until this year. A different local establishment is doing 13 Beverages of Xmas which includes wine. This should be a slam dunk for me to finish before Christmas Eve! I’m so excited!
Number of Books Read: 11
Favorite Book of the Month: It’s a tie between The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner and Fierce Kingdomby Gin Phillips. They are very different books, but they were both sooooo good, and I keep thinking about them long after I’ve finished them!
I want to share so much about some of the gifts I’m going to be giving this year, but it might ruin it for the random friend who checks out my blog. I guess I’ll have to do it at the end of December….you just won’t be able to order these as gifts yourself. Maybe I’ll do a separate post at another time……still thinking on this one!
Someone at work started a Healthy Habits Challenge that started near the beginning of November and is running until December 20th. At first I was like no freaking way. But…..the more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to do it. If nothing else, I hope to keep myself from gaining loads of weight at this time of year. I haven’t rocked out the exercise part as much as I wanted, but I have done well with the eating and losing weight piece.
What were the highlights of your month? Let me know what is going on with you!
I’ve had a great month, but I will admit that I have become a bit of a recluse this winter. I simply like my time on my couch to read or watch TV or blog or play Candy Crush Soda Saga (I thought I was giving it up in 2016, but that hasn’t happened yet). I’m guessing that I will become a bit more social as the weather warms up (or if you want to come and join me on my couch). In the meantime, here’s what’s been going on:
I went to see Star Wars with the fam! I’m not a die hard fan, but I really enjoyed the movie, and I totally want to go see it again!
I was able to see The Lion King again at the Cadillac Palace Theater for the first time in over a decade with my friends Luke and Vicky! It was just as good as I remembered, and we had a delightful dinner beforehand at Italian Village.
I fit in a couple of happy hours with different friends and coworkers, one of my favorite Friday activities (or any day of the week really).
My niece was officially awarded her first degree black belt, which was exciting for our whole family. Look at her smile in this pic…..I simply can’t get enough of it.
Even though it was the #24in48 Readathon weekend, I went to my nephew’s hockey game since I had made the journey north for my niece’s black belt ceremony. He was able to play goalie (which he doesn’t do very often, and it took him a bit to get his rhythm), and it was fun to watch him! My family did a very quick lunch at Portillo’s between the two big events.
For the second time, I participated in the #24in28 Readathon. I beat my previous record with 13 hours this time around. It was so nice to just make the most of my time with reading (without feeling guilty about it).
I went to a wine tasting to celebrate my dear friend Jill’s birthday. Very good wine followed by a quick meal atTap House Grill. I managed to only bring 3 bottles of wine home with me :).
I went to Kuma’s for the first time with my parents and YUM!!!!! You must go with a HUGE appetite and know that you will still come home with 2 more meals!
Books Read: 9 (I could potentially finish a 10th tonight – it is due at the library today)
New Authors: 5 (Becky Albertalli, Wednesday Martin, Francesca Zappia, Alex Gino, David Mitchell)
Clean Your Reader Challenge: 2 (Made You Up and Find Her)
Mount TBR Challenge: 4 (Here to Stay, Made You Up, Find Her, and Rogue Lawyer)
Modern Mrs. Darcy Monthly Challenge: Checked off a book I read in a day: George by Alex Gino
Nonfiction Reading Challenge: 1 (Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin)
Historical Fiction Challenge: 0
Reading Challenge Addict: I haven’t completed any of them YET!
I’ve made the decision – I’m getting rid of my cable. It’s just not worth it for what I pay and how I use it. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated (thanks to my friend Daniel who had lots of input for me this week). I think next Monday will by my cut off date (I still have to call to make it final, but I know I will).
I haven’t really been working out like I should (ummmm….1 session of yoga won’t quite cut it), but I have been making some adjustments to my eating (although not as consistently as I would like). I’m not quite where I want to be overall, but I have made some overall improvements. Tomorrow starts a brand new week and a brand new month, and I plan to rock it out! I’m telling you all so that I am holding myself somewhat accountable.
I tried to think of a quick phrase or word to sum up this month, but I just couldn’t! It was fun. It was crazy busy (until after Christmas when I became extremely lazy). It was what December is typically made of…..chaos! Here’s what happened:
The first Friday of the month was our annual work holiday party. This year was an great event with a great turnout! I had a very fun time with a crew of people that I consider friends as well as coworkers. I am truly blessed to work with so many fabulous people!
Due to bad weather the first time around, we celebrated my friend Katherine’s birthday on the first Saturday of the month. I went to Sabatino’s restaurant for the first time, and I get what all of the hype is about. Great food, great wine, and a great atmosphere. Make sure you have a reservation and don’t mind tight spaces!
My nephew Rhett celebrated his 7th birthday! How did that happen? He is very much into hockey right now, so the whole family watched a game of his, and then went back to his house for pizza and doughnuts (the crazy kid is not a fan of cake so we always have doughnuts for his big day).
I had a delightful evening catching up with my friends Dennis and Andrea and their daughter Norah. I am so grateful for their love, support, and friendship! I always find my time with them to be replenishing, and I just feel more “content” after a visit with them.
I went to watch my niece test for her 2nd degree black belt. I am always in awe when I watch her, and she inspires me with her strength and caring. She’s about to take a break from tae kwon do, and I’m a little sad to miss out on these events.
My dear friend Rob was in town for the holidays, and we went out for dinner one evening (which has become an annual tradition for us). It was great to catch up and share the events of the past year with each other!
My bathroom is finally painted and completed! Seriously….I can use all of it again! I also had all new windows installed, and I’m even happier than I could have imagined (despite the worry I had over the cost of the project).
My team at work celebrated the start of our winter break with a very fun happy hour. For those of you in the NW suburbs of Chicago, Ditka’s is a great place on Friday nights with half price bottles of wine (seriously….who does that on a Friday night?).
My work book club does an annual brunch/ornament exchange every year over our winter break. It is fun to hang out with everyone when they are not completely stressed out by work! We once again went to Wildberry Cafe, which is one of my favorite breakfast places.
Since I was struggling to get my wrapping done, I had a couple friends over for a wrapping frenzy. Let me just say that wrapping is much more fun with friends and wine! I highly recommend this if you are looking for a fun and social aspect to the huge wrapping task! Thanks Margaret and Katherine – maybe this can become a new tradition?
Christmas Eve was a fun event with my dad’s side of the family hosted at my brother’s house. There were about 40 people, including a brand new baby. Welcome Emma Rylee!
Christmas Day was spent with part of my mom’s side of the family. It was low key, but lots of fun. We played some games and enjoyed some great food!
I took my niece Caytee shopping for her Xmas gifts after the big day. If you remember from my October Wrap-Up, it is one of my favorite traditions with her, and I am going to make the most of these outings while she still thinks they’re fun!
I celebrated the birthdays of my friends Meghan and Tiffany (since there birthdays are two days apart, it seems that having a celebration with the two of them has also become an annual tradition – are you noticing a trend in the amount of traditions I have at this time of the year?).
Tonight is New Year’s Eve. It is 3:00, and I am still not completely clear on what I’m going to do tonight! Ugh……there is way too much hype around this evening, and it just makes me crazy! It looks like I’ll either be doing dinner with my friends Meghan and Margaret or else I’ll be enjoying some couch time with a nice bottle of wine from my Napa trip. We are all still debating the pros and cons of both plans :).
My reading was amazing (I managed to get in quite a bit of extra reading over my winter break), but my blogging was downright dreadful! Blogging took a backseat to so many things this month (but I don’t regret those decisions in any way)!
Books Read: 11 (some were very easy books that I read for work)
My dad won a free car detail a while ago, and he gave it to me to use! Ummmmm….I LOVE a car detail. Even though my car is now 5 1/2 years old, it smells and looks brand new. I love it even more because it was free!
My favorite Christmas gift this year was this delightful, fun, festive Kate Spade wallet. I love all thing Kate Spade, and I’ve loved this pink color for awhile. I figured the wallet was the perfect way to try out this bold color.
For those of you in the NW suburbs of Chicago, a local ice cream/coffee shop Christie’s Dairy Delights is now making custom ice cream cake rolls. I took a couple for Christmas Day as something different to try for dessert, and they were delicious (I wish I had taken a picture). Although the packaging can use a little work, they are well worth the money you spend. You get to pick your ice cream, cake, ganache, and two toppings! It is all custom, and it’s so fun to plan!
November hasn’t felt quite as hectic as October, but it’s still been busy, and I still don’t feel quite caught up. I’m not sure I’ll achieve that caught up feeling in December, but we’ll give it a whirl! Here’s what’s been happening:
I finally have a ceiling in my bathroom again after two months! The bathroom isn’t finished yet, but I am so relieved that there is a ceiling once again!
What was estimated to be a 1-5 inch snowfall ended up being over a foot the weekend before Thanksgiving! I may not be a fan of the cold, but I so love snow (especially if I don’t have to drive in it). It had melted a few days later, but I enjoyed it while it lasted!
My friend Tiffany won a wine tasting that she used to celebrate her 40th birthday! We had a great time, and even followed up the event with a fun dinner out with the girls!
I took my 10 year old niece Caytee shopping for her birthday. It’s become a new tradition for us, and I LOVE it!!!! We always have a blast, and I love that right now she enjoys spending time with me!
My family celebrated the circle of life one weekend with both a memorial and a baby shower. It is the side of the family that I don’t get the chance to see quite as often, and it was great to be able to spend time with everyone. It was interesting to have such a wide range of experiences in one weekend.
My nephew has been asking repeatedly for me to go to another one of his hockey games (unfortunately his aunt is not a morning person on the weekends, and had to wait for a weekend with an afternoon game). It’s been so fun to see him grow in his skills and excitement for the game! I will be going again next weekend!
I had a 12 hour day of Parent-Teacher Conferences followed by a short 4 hour day of them. They went relatively smoothly, and it was nice to then have the rest of the Thanksgiving week off.
Thanksgiving was a quiet event at my parent’s house this year. Although it was low key and fun, I did miss seeing my extended family. This is my favorite snapshot from the day (I love when my nephew snuggles up with my mom):
Thanksgiving weekend was fun with Black Friday shopping (late in the afternoon), the kickoff of the 12 Beers of Christmas (even though I am so not a beer drinker, I can go out and support my friends), a train pub crawl, a happy hour with friends, and a sushi dinner with some other friends. It was great to be able to spend so much time with friends (and I still managed to get a lot of downtime in as well). I had a spectacular Thanksgiving weekend!
Number of Books Read: 9 (I was so close on a couple more actually……)
Most Popular Post: As always it is my Book Club Blowout for Big Little Lies
I attended the release event for White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen hosted by The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL. Renee was delightful as usual, and the book was wonderful (review coming soon)! Thanks to my friend Sharon who is always willing to go to book events with me! Here’s a snapshot from the event (the woman who took our photos was not the best photographer and this was is actually the best of the bunch):
I am currently hosting a giveaway for The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy. Hurry up and enter before the contest closes!
I had the best time participating in Nonfiction November hosted in part by Katie at Doing Dewey. I was able to connect with some new readers and bloggers while reading a bunch of great nonfiction. Although I did not finish 3 of the books I started (not that they were terrible, but they just didn’t click for me at this time), I was happy with the reading I did get in. I can’t wait to participate next year. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to check out Katie’s blog, especially if you love nonfiction.
I started writing out my Christmas cards. For those of you who know me well, I spend a huge amount of time with my cards, letting people know what they mean to me and how they are special (and you would be surprised at how a few kind words can truly make a difference in someone’s day). This is no small task (last year I wrote out about 120 cards), and I am running far behind from where I was at this time last year. Fingers crossed I have some good card-writing mojo this week!
So you guys may have noticed a huge decline in the amount of my posting the last two weeks…..as in like 0 posts! Yikes! October has been an amazing month, and below you will see why my blogging took a nose dive. November is looking to be more promising on the blogging front. Here’s what’s been going on here:
On the first day of the month, I walked into my hair appointment and told my hair stylist that she could do whatever she wanted with the color of my hair. She went darker, but it has been perfect for the fall season.
One of the biggest highlights on my month was training the new staff in my school on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was an amazing opportunity for me, and I so enjoyed connecting with the new staff on a very different level. Although the online certification training was hugely time consuming, the experience totally made it worth it, and I look forward to doing it again!
I attended a Middle Grade Author Panel at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. I primarily went to see Gennifer Choldenko (I enjoyed Al Capone Does My Shirts) and Louis Sacher. However, Chris Grabenstein was the huge highlight of the night for me, and I found an author that I must check out soon!
My friends and I went for another trivia night, and this time around we blew chunks…..big time chunks. I didn’t even make it to the end of the night!
As a lifelong Cubs fan, I was thrilled when our Cubbies made the playoffs. Although we didn’t win this year, next year looks very promising. It was fun to go watch games with friends and experience the spirit of Chicago at its finest!
For the second year in a row, I attended the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference over Columbus Day weekend, and had the most unbelievable time again. I could go on and on about how wonderful this experience is, but hopefully you will join me next year to find out yourself!
After one day of the conference, I met some friends for dinner at a new-to-me restaurant called 8000 Mile. It was delicious!
I was fortunate enough to go on a bucket list trip to NAPA! It was a dream come true, and it was an amazing trip. I’m hoping to do a separate post on this soon!
I attended another wine dinner hosted by The Wine Cellar at Big Chef. I’ll admit that I didn’t quite love is as much as the last one, but I will definitely be attending more of them in the future.
I enjoyed a few Friday happy hours this month, one of them at my place. I love getting together with friends after a long week of work and just chilling out and catching up!
My amazing niece turned 10 – how did she become a tween already?
We celebrated my friend Kathy’s birthday at a new local restaurant that’s been getting rave reviews – Courtland’s Garage. We had great wine and good food!
I went trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew despite the cold and rainy weather.
Number of Books Read: 6 (despite my lack of blogging, I managed to fit in some reading)
I decided to try something a little different for some of the mild health symptoms I’ve been experiencing – acupuncture. I had my first appointment on the last day of the month so I’ll have to let you know my thoughts after a little bit more time.
September has been filled with lots of highs and a one medium-ish bummer (I’ve decided that 2015 really is the year that if something is going to go wrong, it indeed will). Here are some of the big moments:
I did start to slowly get back in the swing of working out regularly thanks to my friend Katherine. Even though I’m not yet hitting my workout target, I’m happy to be headed in the right direction!
I had a very spontaneous and last minute night out for drinks and chocolate at Anna Shea’s Chocolates and Lounge with my friend Tara. When I don’t let myself be an old lady, I can still have fun even if it’s past my bedtime :).
My family went to see O.A.R. at Ravinia, and we had the best time! It was my favorite concert of the summer, and one of my favorite memories of the summer! Who’s cuter than my niece and nephew?
My friends and I started a Trivia Night tradition on Thursdays (except we only made it one week so far….hopefully it will become a regular thing). We had a blast and were so close to winning third place.
I went to the beautiful wedding of my amazing friends Luke and Vicky. The ceremony was outdoors on the most perfect weather day possible, and I adored the vows they wrote for each other. I couldn’t be more thrilled for the two of them!
As the end to the nice weather is in sight, my coworkers and I took advantage of some of our last days of patio weather to spontaneously go for drinks after work. Patio drinking with friends is one of my favorite things.
We celebrated my friend Jay’s birthday with a great dinner at Weber Grill. The theme for the evening was steak and mac and cheese (if you’ve never had the mac and cheese at Weber Grill, then you are totally missing out).
A unit in my building two floors above neglected to address a leak they knew about, which resulted in water pooling in my bathroom ceiling. Overall, it’s not a huge crisis, but it is a hassle trying to get it all taken care of (when I seem to be short on time to do just that).
Last weekend I hosted a game night at my house at the very last minute. What’s better than Lou’s pizza, wine, and Scattergories (not to mention Meghan’s amazing pumpkin bars)?
I went to Art in the Barn. I saw lots of cool things, but I didn’t make any purchases this time around. The best part was spending time with my friends Dennis, Andrea, and their little girl (who can rock out like few toddlers I know).
I received an awesome picnic wagon for my birthday (actually I received two because so many people know me so well), and it came in sooooooooo handy for my last concert of the season at Ravinia. If ever you have to haul supplies a long distance, I highly recommend the one I have – it can carry so much and it is easy to fold up and stash. Mine is also hot pink, which I love!
One of my current favorite blogs to follow is Career Girl Daily. Even though I am two decades older than their intended audience, I love the variety and content of the posts. My favorites include words of wisdom/life lessons from successful women you’ve heard of. Check it out if you haven’t already!
I purchased my first adult coloring book Color Me Calm, and I can’t wait to put it to use. I just received it in the mail today! I’m hoping to use it in place of Candy Crush Soda which can be a problematic way to unwind. I’ll let you know next month what I think of my new method of relaxation.
I sure had a lot to say this month :). Now it’s your turn!
What was the best thing you did this month? What are you looking forward to in October?
St. Louis Trip – I started the month with a quick getaway to visit family in the Lou. It was an action-filled and fun time (and it even earned its own post).
Engagement party – I attended a delightful engagement party for my friends Luke and Vicky. I am so happy they’ve found each other, and I look forward to their wedding next month!
I went to part of the Under the Sun Tour at Ravinia. Even though we were having fun, and we enjoyed Eve 6 and Uncle Kracker, the sirens and profuse lightening forced us to pack up and leave, missing Sugar Ray and Better Than Ezra.
Another year of school started – my 20th year teaching in the schools. I can hardly believe it! It’s been a great start to the year so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the year holds!
I celebrated my birthday! I was so showered with love and affection again this year – a family celebration, lots of attention and gifts from coworkers, a sushi dinner with friends, a steak dinner with another friend. I’m truly blessed!
Number of Books Read: 5 (I’ve slowed way down with the start of work, and I’ve been on the same book for 2 weeks now!)
Shannon over at It Starts at Midnight cohosted an amazing blog event called #shatteringstigmas. So many authors and bloggers shared their personal stories of mental illness, whether it was their own experience or that of someone close to them. Many books on the topic of mental health were featured, and I thought it was an absolutely amazing event that raised a great deal of awareness. I highly encourage you to hop on over there and check it out!
Tell me about your month! What big events happened for you?
When people ask how my summer has been, I’ve been telling them it’s been great. It’s been a good blend of productivity, down time, and lots of time with family and friends. There have been a few bumps in the road, but overall I am so lucky to have the summer I’ve been having! Here’s what’s been happening:
The month started with another great show at Ravinia – Blondie and Melissa Etheridge. Even though it was freezing (two of my friends were under blankets), we had a great Girl’s Night Out!
I went to the Naperville Rib Fest for the first time (it was something I’ve wanted to do for awhile). I’m always glad when I do things I’ve been wanting to do, but this is one of those times when I don’t necessarily need to do that again!
Love was in the air with 2 weddings this month! My cousin Kayla had a beautiful reception in Lake Geneva, WI, and my friend Carrie had one of the most lovely ceremonies I’ve been to in Madison, WI.
Even though I had the wrong night the first time we drove into the city (we still had a great time and we ended up getting 2 nights out in the city as a result), I saw Kinky Boots. Although it was slow to start, I loved the message of this musical!
My sister-in-law Laura celebrated her 40th with a party with family (and I rushed home from the wedding in Madison to catch the end of it) . We had awesome margaritas and Mexican food!
I took the plunge andjoinedeHarmony thanks to the encouragement of my friends Luke and Vicky. I’ve had a couple of wonderful dates, and I’ll keep you posted on how this journey unfolds (I’ve had lots of mixed emotions the last couple of weeks to put it mildly).
Summer has finally arrived in Chicago (following a very rainy and chilly June), and I’ve gotten in lots of patio time with friends (including patio time at friends, patio time at restaurants, and some patio drinking time). I love patios in the summer!
I had my annual physical, which I’ve been dreading as I’ve put on so much weight. It was a great appointment though (I love my PA), and I came away with some great tips for being more healthy overall (some of which I’m already putting into place).
My friends and I discovered the beauty of Music in the Park in Rosemont, IL. We went to country night this past Tuesday, and I heard two new bands that I absolutely loved. The restaurants in the area are all flexible with allowing you to use their bathrooms, and they all offer great food and drink specials to concert-goers. I highly recommend this outing if you live in the Chicago area (and it is very kid friendly for those with children).
Most Popular Post: Again this month it was my Book Club Blowout for Big Little Lies. Seriously, this one keeps running away in the stats department!
My book club read The Rosie Project this month (which I adored and highly recommend as a summer read). Our hostess Jesi gave me a shout out on her blog Pepperminting. If you haven’t visited her site yet, hop on over because she gives you lots of practical tips and advice in so many areas. She’s the big sister you’ve always wanted!
I participated in another training at work for The Leader in Me program, which is school wide program based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I love the principles of the program (I’ll probably being doing a post at some point), and it was reenergizing to go through another coaching day. As a side note, the Erin Condren life planner ties in very nicely with the 7 Habits.
June has been a spectacular month for me. It’s been the perfect combination of productivity, down time, and time with family and friends. My blog stats have been increasing nicely, and I’m just feeling good overall. Here’s what’s happened this month!
My 9 year old niece earned her black belt and it was so awesome to go and watch her test. I was wowed by the extreme fitness challenge she needed to complete to earn this belt. I think this is one of my favorite moments of the year – just being there to watch her!
I spent a weekend in Michigan, which I shared in a post last week. I had an amazing time with family, and it was the perfect way to spend my first week of summer vacay!
The Hawks won the Stanley Cup, and I had the best time celebrating the big event with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. My niece and nephew are far more knowledgeable about hockey than I am, and it made the whole evening even more fun!
I did a train pub crawl in honor of my friend Paul’s new educational book Learn Like a Pirate. We had a blast, and the weather was perfect despite this very rainy June! Teachers can let loose like no other people you know :).
We had an extended familyStaycation in Chicago, and we were able to go to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. It was literally a perfect day in so many ways, and I’m so grateful for this special time with family.
I went to two concerts at Ravinia Festival – Sheryl Crow with family and Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett with friends and coworkers. The weather was very rainy initially for Sheryl Crow, but it ended up being a decent night in the end. Lady Gaga was crazy insane, but we had a decent spot, and it was a great night!
My Erin Condren Life Planner came in the mail (as well as many accessories from Etsy), and I spent several hours getting it ready to use as of the first of July. I am so happy with this splurge!
I started a whole different kind of class at work based on Twitter chats. I’m not sure what I think of the format, but it is interesting trying something new. The class is based on my friend Paul’s recently published book Learn Like a Pirate. It’s getting rave reviews, and I’ll be doing a review of it soon!
What happened with you in June? Share your exciting highlights below!