Marshmallow Taste Test

When baby girl was home with a fever, big girl and I had a little marshmallow adventure at XO Marshmallow! We each had a treat and then brought home some treats to share with baby girl and daddy.

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Vanilla, salted caramel, and peppermint. Yummy!

And because we were going to try all three on the same night, we did a little taste test.

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Although we agree that each flavor was yummy (except baby girl who doesn’t like mint flavors so did not like the peppermint), we were able to name a favorite.

Three of the four chose vanilla as the number one. I was the only one to choose something different, though. My fave is the salted caramel. But yea, all three flavors are yummy. And there are many other flavors available in the store and in their online store.

Have you had these? Which one is your favorite? Which one would you like to try?

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Winter Checklist – Update #1

The last few weekends have been nonstop busy. I’m actually very glad that we have nothing scheduled for this weekend so that we can get some work done around the house, get some Christmas shopping done, and maybe….just maybe….get some sleep.

Two weekends ago, we spent a day downtown to go to the Walnut Room and Christkindlmarket. The weather was outstanding! Christkindlmarket was actually really really busy because the weather had been so mild.

The tree in the Walnut Room was really beautiful. I love the colors this year! And there are color coordinated animal statues all around the base of the tree.

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Check out that blue penguin! How cute is he?!?

Another favorite thing to do when dining at the Walnut Room? Checking out the windows and the decorations outside the store, too.

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I love that some things don’t change. I’ve admired these giant trumpets (are they trumpets?) every year. So fun!

And Christkindlmarket? Definitely one of my favorite places to just wander around and see what there is to see. So many booths. So many things to see, buy, eat.

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So far…….

 

Splash Pads and Playgrounds

We spent an afternoon downtown so that the girls could play at Maggie Daley playground, we could do the splashpads, and play in the fountain at Millennium Park. Originally, I had hoped to get to the Family Fun Festival while we were downtown but by the time that we got there, the tent was already being closed up. There are still a few more weeks of the festival so we might make it there before it’s done for the summer.

It was a very fun day. The girls had so much fun but were definitely exhausted once we got back in the car. 🙂

 

The list thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Days Downtown – Summer Checklist

We have been able to slowly get more items checked off of the summer list.

Like:

Going to the Disney Store in downtown Chicago. Our girls like to go to to press buttons on the walls and watch the big tv. Lol.

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We also ate at one of big girl’s favorite restaurants: Big Bowl.

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The list thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Revenge of the 10K

So, this weekend was supposed to be my mini-version of my upcoming Princess Challenge weekend in February. I ran a 5k on Saturday and then Sunday was supposed to be my 10k so I would complete the Remix Challenge. Well, that didn’t happen because I had an incident beforehand in which I fell on my way to the race on Sunday….and hit my head on the curb…..and spent the morning in the ER getting x-rays (nothing broken) and stitches (9 stitches total). This was not at all what I had trained for. I’m disappointed for sure. And now I have to buy yet another pair of the same pair of Ann Taylor Loft sunglasses (this will be my third pair) because they completely shattered when I fell. … I love those sunglasses.

-As a side note, my experience really showed why the running community is so amazing. There were lots of runners all walking to their corrals (or the porta-potties) and so many stopped to see if I was ok, help me up, give me a towel, etc. And, a Streets & Sanitation employee stopped, called the ambulance, and waited until the ambulance pulled up before he left. Way to go, Chicago!

Sure, I didn’t get my Remix Challenge medal on Sunday. (But I’m already planning a victorious return next summer. Remix Challenge – I’m coming for you!…..again……) And, I didn’t get my 10k done for this summer running season. But…….the thing about races is that once you start, once you’re hooked, you can’t quit. So, now I’m registering for 10k in September (Run Mag Mile) and I’m planning on doing a 15k at the end of October (Hot Chocolate).

That 10k medal will be mine. It just won’t perfectly match my 5k.

But it’ll still look good around my neck.

Keep Going…Just Keep Going

I have noticed in just a short amount of time that my runs are getting easier again. But, I know that there will be things that will make it harder to keep up with my training. Grad school has started up again and that sucks up a lot of time. (But graduation comes in May!!!!!!) And the weather is still, well, winter. And, it’s not out of ordinary to walk in and find several piles of cat barf on the treadmill. (Thanks, Buddy….) But, I am determined to keep this going.

It’s time to start registering for spring/summer races.

What races are your favorites?

My Own Christmas To-Do List

It’s a well-known fact that it is very easy for me to overdue Christmas. There is just so much that can be done during the holidays in and near Chicago! How can you choose? So, well, I don’t choose and instead try to do everything. That might be why December is so exhausting…..well, that and I teach preschool so no matter what December is going to be exhausting. But, if you too are wanting to have a Christmas crammed with activities, here is my list of must-do’s during the holidays. (Close to Thanksgiving, I usually send Ryan a bunch of invites on Google calendar so that he knows what I’m planning.)

Mag Mile Lights Festival -This one is a great way to kick off the holidays, in my opinion. Plus, it combines two of my favorite things: Disney and Christmas decorations!

Christkindlemarket – It’s fun just to walk around but it’s even more fun if you buy some snacks. Since they are right across the street from each other, we usually combine going here with dinner at the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room – One of my all-time favorites. Ryan and I have been doing the Walnut Room since before we had kids. But, it’s even more fun now that we have kids. The girls love seeing the “Christmas fairies” and I love seeing the windows and the giant tree in the middle of the restaurant.

Holiday Magic (or “lights at the zoo.”) – Lots of zoos do their own version of zoo lights. We go to Brookfield because we are members there. But, I have many friends who go to see the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and they love going there. So, I think that you are probably ok with picking a zoo and enjoying their lights. 🙂

Renegade Craft Fair – I love this because it offers a chance to purchase some interesting gifts for people.

Christmas Around the World at MSI – This has been one of my favorites since before I even lived in the Chicago area. The trees are beautiful and you still have time to check out some of the other exhibits after you see the trees.

Garfield Park Conservatory – This one is a new one to the list. But, it’s not a new one for a list of my favorite things to do during the winter. This really is one of my favorite places to visit in the winter. Walking in here in January, you can forget that it’s 2 degrees outside and just enjoy the tropical temperatures, sights, and smells. This was, however, the first year that we went during the Holiday Flower Show.

Walking (or Driving) Around And Looking at Lights – This one isn’t necessarily a “destination.” However, I do like to walk around downtown Chicago to see the lights. The big tree at Millennium Park always looks nice. But, I also enjoy taking a scenic route home from Target or the mall to check out neighborhood lights. And, a big part of our Christmas Eve tradition involves driving around and looking at lights. That’s what we do following Christmas Eve Mass. 🙂

 

What are your must-do activities at Christmas?