FITNESS CHALLENGES

Motivation to get you through hump day!

Fitness challenges can be tough, that’s why they’re called a challenge.  But they are also a great opportunity to test yourself- your strength, your determination and your dedication.  Often times we convince ourselves of why we can’t make room for fitness- not enough time, money, energy, etc., but when we are held to a higher standard and have a commitment to honor, it’s often surprising how easily the things that previously prevented us from being active disappear.  

I recently completed a fall challenge at my barre studio where I tried to attend as many classes as possible (18 being the most) in 21 days.  Because I committed to this, I found the time and ways to make attending class possible, even though it meant doing things out of the norm like attending a Friday evening class or waking up early to attend a 7am class before work.  While maintaining an accelerated schedule might not be something that’s manageable long term- that’s the idea of a challenge occurring in a short time frame- it’s a great way to push yourself and see what you’re able to accomplish if you simply try.  You’ll be amazed with the strength you find in yourself, not to mention you’ll look great!

Get curious and find a fitness challenge at a studio or gym near you.  Fall is a great time to take advantage of these offerings!

Patterned Play

Inspiration for the new week!

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I love a good print, especially because it can elevate an otherwise basic outfit like a top and shorts duo.  When I first saw this Zara set, I was afraid it might be too busy, yet the pattern is so small it adds a subtle but stylish touch.  The shirt and shorts combo almost look like a romper since they seamlessly transition from top to bottom and make for a playful day time set.  This was the perfect thing to reach for on a recent afternoon that was warmer than usual and coincided with our neighborhood taco fest.  It was a happy surprise to walk by this colorful wall for a print mixing photo opp!

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Fashion note: I’m wearing a Zara top and bottom, Target sandals, J. Crew bag (similar here).

WEEKLY WRAP UP/WEEKEND COUNTDOWN

What got me through the week and what I’m looking forward to this weekend!

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Celebrating a recent win at Wrigley

This week is one of the only weeks this month that I have some downtime.   After a busy week/weekend last week celebrating two friends’ wedding and an out of town trip for another wedding next week, I’m enjoying having no official plans for the next two days.  I do plan on enjoying some of fall’s flavors and catching a much anticipated new movie.  I hope you have a great one!    

Trader Joe’s pumpkin supply: Every autumn this grocery chain goes all out in embracing the flavor of the season- pumpkin.  They have everything from ravioli to biscotti featuring this fall flavor, but the pastry tarts are a personal guilty pleasure.  

Goose Island Brewery: I’ve always appreciated Goose Island beer but being that it’s a Chicago brew it’s pretty mainstream and I sometimes overlook it in favor of something different.  After a recent Goose Island sponsored block party, which featured brews for $3, my appreciation was reignited.  The Matilda and Sofie are personal favorites.

The Girl on the Train: This book was one of my favorites so it’s no surprise I have been anxiously awaiting the film version.  I’m hoping to carve out time this weekend to see it.  

Halloween Costumes: Now that it’s October, it’s time to start thinking about Halloween costumes.  I’m pretty sure I’ve already decided mine, but this provides some inspiration for popular ideas this year.

Farmers Market Feast

Delicious recipes for the curious cook!

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I love the farmer’s market.  I love being able to shop local, fresh ingredients, creating a true farm to table experience and you can’t beat the quality and prices.  I also find that whenever I buy produce at the farmer’s market, it lasts so much longer than when I purchase it at the grocery store.

I try to frequent the market often in the summer and fall and after a recent visit, this dish was born one Saturday night.  I wanted something flavorful but light and healthy and this hit the spot, which meant I had room for ice cream (always a plus).  Cauliflower and eggplant are both in season in the fall, so this is a great time to try this dish.

Ingredients:
12 oz salmon fillets
1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
1/2 large eggplant or 1 small eggplant (diced)
1/2 package Bella mushrooms (sliced)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Add the cauliflower to a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and eggplant to the baking sheet and drizzle with the additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Roast for additional 10 minutes and remove from the oven.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 and once preheated, add the salmon on a baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the skin flakes with a fork.  Add the roasted veggies back to the oven for the last 5 minutes if you desire to heat them back up a bit.  

Drizzle the lemon juice over the fillets and serve with veggies.  Enjoy!