BeHealthful Retreat [Giveaway]


The 2nd Annual BeHealthful Retreat is an expo + retreat + conference hybrid that pulls elements from all three to give attendees an interactive and engaging experience. BeHealthful showcases panels and workshops to learn more about personal health and wellness, to move, invigorate, pamper, and create positive change. You’ll spend the whole day being immersed in a blend of activities that are curated to promote personal growth, connectivity, empowerment, and revitalization.

The 2nd Annual BeHealthful Retreat
September 27, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St, Chicago

The day will be jam-packed with awesome workouts, cooking demos, health and wellness talks, and mini spa services.


I have two tickets to giveaway if you’d like to join me! Enter via Rafflecopter
and I’ll pick two winners on Monday, August 3rd!

Good news: my husband really likes my cooking

Originally this post was just going to be me pretending I have cooking skills.

My basil plant has been growing like crazy.


6 weeks ago, basil third from the right.


2 weeks ago, basil plant is the big bushy one on the bottom.

OK, so not just my basil plant has been growing really well. I’m not a green thumb at all. Because all of my indoor succulents? Dead or near death.

Anyway. Normally I just use basil for caprese salads and leave it at that. I’m not crazy about pesto, but, I figured I had all that basil, and I have a food processor, let’s give it a go.


It was almost too easy. I followed this recipe from Ina Garten. 


And holy cow you guys … fresh pesto is DELICIOUS.


A little pesto goes a long way, so there was a lot leftover. Tonight, I grilled some chicken with the plans of putting pesto on it.

Except when I looked in the fridge, while the chicken was already on the grill … my pesto was missing.

My husband was out for a run when I got home from my post-work workout. Het got home all sweaty and out of breath, and after letting him catch his breath and exchanging a few pleasantries asking about his run, I got right now to business.


Yeah, someone really enjoyed it and someone took it and some of the bread to work for his lunch. And someone left what’s left of it in the fridge at work. So someone (two someones) had to put generic A-1 on their chicken for dinner.

Anyway, so now I know what to do with all that basil. But what do I do with all that mint, oregano, sage, rosemary and thyme? Besides rewrite an old folk song?

We were all beginngers [at least] once.

One of my friends has been documenting her fitness journey on Instagram and Facebook. She’s been running and doing various strength and interval workouts. It’s pretty cool to see someone coming into their own in regards to fitness! Especially running! Yay running, amirite???!!! All runners love more runners, yes? Well apparently not, because she got the following private message after posting a pic with her most recent 3-mile run time:

You probably shouldn’t be bragging about that slow a$$ run time for 3 miles. With all the fitness stuff you claim you do, it’s slow as sh!t! Maybe wait until you’ve actually accomplished something next time you post about what a beast you are.

Um, excuse me? And she said she started following this person on Instagram because he’s an ultramarathoner and she thought he was inspirational. No, really … excuse me?? WTF is that??

I’ve always loved the running (and fitness) community because I always found it to be very encouraging. No matter who you are – beginner or super-fit – you are getting out there, working hard, and trying to improve. I always loved that veteran runners were always willing to offer advice and encouragement to anyone interested in taking it up. Furthermore, the running community always seemed encouraging no matter someone’s pace. Very often group runs have a “no runner (or run/walker) left behind” mentality.

So it really pisses me off that someone – an ultramarathoner at that – would criticize someone for being “slow.” Pace is relative. We all start somewhere. Very few people can get up off the couch and run “fast” for long distances from day one. And some of us get injured and have to bounce back … slowly.

IMG_8292 IMG_8294

These are my pics, not my friend’s, but if anyone cares, that 3.21-mile run took me 32:56, and that was with auto-pause at the intersections/water fountains. And I chased it with tacos and a strawberry-jalapeno margarita. 

This weekend was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, which is basically a reminder to me that my last double-digit run was over a year ago, and a painful run at that. Heck, my last double-digit [running] week was in March – the last one before that in December. I’ve had TWO double-digit weeks in the past year. So, running three miles AT ALL is an accomplishment for me.

So for someone to chastise another runner for posting their 3-miler that wasn’t fast enough? Get the f*ck out. Seriously, turn in your Runner Card and get the f*ck out. We don’t want you here.

Five Things Friday

IMG_8126 IMG_8187

Left: My little balcony garden seems to be doing well. However, I managed to kill my indoor succulents. Maybe next time I should read up on how to care for succulents.

Right: Root veggies (many from our CSA box), garlic scapes (also from CSA box) and fresh herbs (from my balcony), wrapped in foil and grilled = yummmm.



How to fix wilted kale (also from my CSA box): Treat it like a flower. Trim the ends, put in water. And then put in the fridge.


IMG_8185 IMG_8183

This month’s team building activity: Laser Tag. Also, the digital marketing team has doubled in the past year. Keep surfing the web, y’all.



Mag Mile Runner shopping on the Mag Mile. I had a gift card.

When I named this blog, I had zero connection to the Magnficient Mile, it was just a good tie between my name and Chicago and running. OK, I take that back, my alma mater has a campus off the Mag Mile. But I never really shopped there. Two years ago I started working for a company with a presence on the Mag Mile, and it is in my own best interest to shop where I work, so I actually try to make an effort to shop there when I need to update my wardrobe. Thank goodness for 4th of July sales. I stretched that gift card pretty far.


We spent our 4th of July where we always do, in the great (ha) state of Indiana, where fireworks are legal and I can sit in my friend’s backyard and watch basically a 40-minute grand finale being set off in the parkway a block away.


Where do you shop?
What did you do for the 4th?
What are you growing in your garden?
Does your office do social activities? 

Sweaty and Shaky at Studio Lagree

Screen shot 2015-07-07 at 9.11.16 PM

Now that I’ve reactivated my ClassPass membership, it’s time to check out more new-to-me studios! This week I tried out new-to-Chicago Studio Lagree in Lincoln Park. According to their website, they are coming to the Gold Coast, and they also have a location in Highland Park and other cities in USA and Canada.

Studio Lagree uses the M3 Megaformer™ machines, like Pilates reformer machines built for HIIT workouts. I’ve used similar machines at Body R&D, and loved those workouts, so I was excited to check out Studio Lagree.

Class at Studio Lagree definitely did not disappoint. We worked our core, arms, legs, glutes, quads, hams (oy that was hard). I think my arms were recovering from the weights portion of the workout I did the night before at GoRow, because when holding planks, my core felt like it could keep going, but my arms did not.

Anyway, I like my workouts to be a sweaty, muscle-fatiguing, exhausting good time. Which is something I’ve always experienced on the Megaformer, Studio Lagree being no exception. I’m glad the they give us wipes at the end of class to wipe down equipment, because I was sweating all over my machine.

I’ll definitely be back, and hopefully the Gold Coast location will be on ClassPass!

You can see the Megaformers in action here:

Nobody asked me to write this post, I just really like this type of workout. 

Have you ever been on a Megaformer?

Just June

Goals ‘n stuff


Keep up with PT exercises. Uh. Oh.

Weekly yoga. I made it to 4 classes, 3 with the Pilsen Yoga Tribe and one at Zen Yoga Garage.

104 strength workouts. I did 3 workout via ClassPass – GoRow, CrossTown Fitness and I tried my first CrossFit class at CrossFit312. I actually really liked the CrossFit class, although I think I pushed myself too hard, doing 50 thrusters with the 45-pound weight bar at my first attempt, and my left wrist was sore in the days following.

1,000 miles. 30 miles. Almost all on a Divvy.

Art & Culture:

Perform again. I already hit this goal in May. But, I took a couple workshops during the Windy City Burlesque Festival in June, including a live band improv burlesque workshop with the team behind Burlesco [link prob NSFW unlss pasties are cool at your office], that was a lot of fun. I was the only “student” in the workshop, the rest were legit performers. And they were really nice and didn’t make me feel out of place. When it was my turn to improv, the band played something “easy to dance to,” per my request … and it was really easy to dance to.

Read 18 books. I finished American Gods, and attended the related book club meeting. I wanted more out of this book. People seem to love it. I thought it was certainly an interesting story, but I wanted more about of the delivery. I think my book club felt the same; I don’t think anyone loved it, even people who love Neil Gaiman. I started and finished The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, which was by the same author as Fried Green Tomatoes. It was cute and similar in some ways to Fried Green Tomatoes (bored Southern empty nest housewife finds inspiration in stories of women from the past), but left me wanting more … so I watched Fried Freen Tomatoes.

Attend at least one art-related thing per month. Quite a banner month. I attended my first Full Moon Fire Jam. I helped my sis-in-law with her 5th annual dance studio recital, Time to Groove. (Actually, my entire family was there helping, minus my husband, who had to work. On a Saturday. But pics are below.)  And thanks for my Arts & Business Council project, I got comp tickets to see the Royal Ballet perform Don Quixote. 

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.22.31 PM Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.22.08 PM

Left: My Nephew, awwwwwwww.
Right: Let’s play another round of guess my mom’s age. Seriously. Guess.

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.21.18 PM Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.22.39 PM

Left: This is how you keep hoards of kids entertained backstage for 2-3 hours.
Right: The only non-dancers in the family do the move we affectionately call The Schwartz Shuffle, except for Lil Al, he’s just enamored with that blanket.

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.22.17 PM Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.22.48 PM

The show always ends in a drum jam, and my middle-older bro shows that he actually does have musical talent (he was always the only non-musician in the fam)


Stop talking myself out of doing things. I did some social stuff. The thing that I didn’t talk myself out of was the Windy City Blogger Collective Happy Hour at Seasons 52. (I was tired.) Going meant I could catch up with Erin.

Volunteer. We’re making some great progress on our BVA project with the Audience Architects. I think we hope to wrap up at the end of July. I’m excited about the end result, although it’ll just be a creative brief, so it’ll be really fun when the project actually comes to life!

Decrease our debt. We’re getting back on track(ish) now that we’re both employed.

Divvy Bikes Turns Two! [Giveaway]

If I was a better blogger, I would have posted this in advance of Divvy’s second birthday on Sunday, June 28th. Better late than never, right?


I’ve posted more than once about how much I love the Divvy bike share program in Chicago. And I still love Divvy. Especially with all the new stations they’ve added around town.

If you’ve been curious about trying Divvy, but have yet to do so, today’s your lucky day! Divvy has given me five 24-hour Divvy passes to give away! Enter by Thursday, July 9th.

Click to enter via a Rafflecopter giveaway.