Monday, December 30, 2013

It's the little things in life, MIMM #2

   Sometimes I think about all the things I want in life that I don't have and it can make me feel down because I don't have those things, but other days I remember to look at what I do have and enjoy the little things. I have been getting better at staying positive. I believe staying positive really makes a difference. So this weekend, even if things didn't go the way I had planned in my head, I did take some time to enjoy the little things in life. Anyway, time for my second MIMM to help keep up my positive thinking.
    Marvelous is.... going to the movie theater for the first time since July. I went to see Saving Mr. Banks and I have to say it was quite an interesting and good movie. It's based on how Walt Disney got the rights to Mary Poppins. I enjoy Mary Poppins, maybe because my mom enjoys musicals, but since I enjoy that movie, I was interested in Mr. Banks.

    Marvelous is...receiving a Christmas card in the mail when you weren't expecting one.

    To follow that, Marvelous is....writing a letter to that person to thank them for the Christmas card. I know no one really writes letters anymore, but I enjoy it when there is an opportunity to.

    Marvelous is...buying peppermint tea and drinking it, even if it has warmed up to 40 degrees outside this weekend, but the temperatures will only drop to 0 today...

   Marvelous is...finally going ice skating at Millennium Park this season. I went with my sister and her friend. Although it was a bit rainy/snowy and cold, we had fun and went shopping on Michigan Ave afterwards.

Lastly, Marvelous is working only a day and a half then getting a day and a half off for New Years.
I hope everyone enjoys New Years and as always thank you Katie for hosting.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Just popping in to say


Merry Christmas Everyone!! Hope everyone has a fabulous day!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas Eve!! Still can't believe Christmas day is tomorrow!!

Last night I was able to stay up late and bake!! It was so much fun (and I may have been on a sugar high). I finally got my gingerbread cookies baked and they came out delicious. My sister frosted my sugar cookies I made the night before and helped out with my gingerbread.

gingerbread cookies frosted

me and my bf :)

frosting gingerbread takes concentration

beautifully sprinkled sugar cookies and gingerbread
   For breakfast, my dad decided to make corn muffins (though I had already eaten so it was my second breakfast).

We don't really do anything for Christmas Eve. We were going to go ice skating downtown today, but waking up and discovering it's 0 degrees outside, I think we are going to stay in for most of the day and hopefully go ice skating on Saturday when it's a warmer 30 degrees. Instead we'll clean up the house a bit for our guests tomorrow and make some peppermint bark and other food. At least it will be a white Christmas as we woke up to some more snow this morning.

Hope everyone has a fabulous day!! Stay warm!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fun and Relaxing weekending, MIMM #1

Well I've been reading this posts for a while and I thought why not join in on the fun, because this weekend was pretty great and I thought I'd share. This is my first attempt at a link up, so I hope it works. Thank you Katie for hosting.

Marvelous is... my Friday night as I enjoyed some dinner out before heading to my regular Friday night yoga class at 5:30 and then participating in a special winter solstice event 108 sun salutations right after. 2.5 hours of yoga is a pretty great workout.

Marvelous is free yoga on Saturday morning... a new yoga studio One2one just opened on December 11th. I heard about this place through a friend and it is such a one on one teaching style, so I feel like I get a better workout from it compared to the crowded classes of 40 or more people at my gym. Though, being a new studio, not many people know about it yet so classes will eventually get more crowded, but for now I will enjoy the small classes.

Marvelous is finding time for 8 hours of yoga in one week!! That's quite a bit, especially since I usually only do 2 hours at most, but I definitely enjoyed it!

Marvelous is seeing my friend dance Saturday night... I took the train to downtown Chicago to head to the Winter Dance Bash that my friend was performing in with Alliance Dance Company. There were also some other dance groups performing as well. One of my favorites is the amazing talented tap dancers of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. I am truly amazed at how well they improvise to the music. I took tap dance from age 8 to 18 and then continued during the second semester of college until graduation. I really miss tap dance classes. Maybe I can take them again someday.

Marvelous is my massage....Sunday morning, I ate breakfast and then got ready to head downtown once again. This time for a massage which I actually won in a raffle about a month ago from Alliance Dance Company's fundraiser.

Marvelous is enjoying a chocolate chip scone before my massage....I arrived in downtown a little early and found a little sweet shop and cafe that was on my way, called Bittersweet, so I stopped there and had a chocolate chip scone and read for a bit before walking down the street to my massage.

chocolate chip scone

massage sitting area
   Marvelous is coming home to this furball, my cat Tom..

Marvelous is making cookies....Sunday night I made a sugar cookie recipe from here. Then I worked on making a gingerbread cookie dough. The sugar cookies still need to be frosted but they look good. The gingerbread dough is still sitting in the fridge and I plan to make them after work today. 
cutting out sugar cookies
gingerbread dough

sugar cookies

    Finally, Marvelous is having Tuesday and Wednesday off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!! 
Happy Holidays everyone!! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In honor of Thanksgiving and thinking about all that I have, I decided to do a Thankful post.

I’m Thankful for…

- Being alive and well today. I think sometimes I take my health for granted, especially since becoming lactose intolerant, but I know I’m lucky to be here and well today. I definitely need to remind myself of how lucky I am to be here and well more often. 

- Having a full time job. I know I was lucky to find one as fast as I did and I have learned so much 
in the past year and a half working for my company.

- Being able to make creative dishes for my co workers for all the potlucks and parties 

(next potluck is for Christmas, so I can’t wait to make these
and another dish that will remain a surprise) 

- Being a member of Lifetime Fitness gym (I know this one may seem weird, but being able to afford a gym membership I feel is a big one for me as the gym gives me my “me time” as I workout. From weights, group classes to the pool, I love everything at my gym and it’s truly my second home)
Yoga Rave

this is how Tom often sits, with his paws crossed, so cute
- My adorable cats, as much as they can be annoying and whine, they have certainly been following me around the house a lot lately and love snuggling with me, especially my cat Tom 
Tom sleeping on my bed

Skittles hanging off of a chair

- My sister

- Being able to stay connected with people through social media. Social media has certainly changed our lives, but I love having Facebook to stay connected with friends I met in college and in Australia when I studied abroad. In August I got to catch up with my friend Angie, whom I met in Australia, but she actually lives in Illinois. Visiting her on my way to St Louis with my boyfriend was the perfect pit stop. 
at Lincoln's memorial with Brian and Angie

- Being able to pay for a wonderful anniversary vacation to the Bahamas with my amazing boyfriend back in October. It was just what we needed to re connect and get away from work. (goal next year is to go to Italy)

And most importantly, my amazing boyfriend, Brian. Even though we live a few states apart and are long distance right now, I can’t imagine my life without him. I can tell him everything and even though we don’t always agree on everything, I like to listen to his opinions and hear his advice. Hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to live together in the same state.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bahamas Part 4: Day Trip North and Fish Fry

You can catch part 1 here, part 2 here and how our first day trip (part 3) went here.
                Our second day trip, we headed up to the Northern part of the Island. Just to show you where on the island we were headed, here is a map with the area we visited circled.

An hour into our drive, we arrived at our first stop, the unmarked trail to the Queen’s bath. I was glad that I decided to wear my sneakers for this path as the rock/coral was very sharp at the bottom of the Queen’s bath. We watched, mesmerized, as the waves crashed into the rocks. 

Below is why this area is called the Queen's bath. This is the soaking tub, but with the many black sea urchins, we did not go into the water. 

bridge at Queen's bath

love how I was able to capture the waves crashing behind us

best photo of the waves crashing

I’m not sure how long we spent there, but I’m sure we could have stayed there much longer, just watching the waves. I believe we were there sometime in between low and high tide. It’s more dangerous at high tide, but I read reviews that it is cool to go at both high and low tide and see the differences.
                We then drove another half mile North and came to the Glass window Bridge. With that name I thought you might be able to see through the bridge, but really the name means the bridge separates the Atlantic and Caribbean Sides of the Island. You see the teal blue color of the Caribbean on one side and the darker blue on the other, being the Atlantic. It’s amazing to see the two of them meet and still have the violent crashing of the waves on the Atlantic side and the calm Caribbean Sea on the opposite side and the color contrasts are amazing!!

Atlantic Ocean

Caribbean Sea

                After that short visit, we drove farther North and decided we’d go to Harbour Island for the afternoon. We took a short ferry ride over to the island. We then rented a golf cart, as this is the most common transportation around the island and drove around the 3 mile island. I couldn’t believe how close the houses were to each other. It seemed like they really try to fit as many houses as possible on this small island. It was so different from Eleuthera.
                We found a little cafĂ© for lunch where I got a hamburger and Brian got a lobster salad. We stopped at a couple beaches, but didn’t bring our swim suits and stuff with us, so we didn’t swim unfortunately. I guess if we decide to visit that island again, we’ll definitely need to bring our swim suits as the beach was pretty much the only activity we found to do.
the streets on Harbour Island

the beautiful pink sand beach

a little downward dog and yoga on the beach

This island was very much for resorts and people with lots of money. When we stopped at a grocery store for water, we were amazed at the selection of food and they were apparently only at 60% of their usual inventory. The grocery store was much bigger than the one on Eleuthera and offered more, but the prices were still high since all the items are shipped over. The advantage of the high prices for me was that I wasn’t as tempted to buy things. I did buy a couple apples, an avocado and water from that store though.
                After a couple hours on the island and enjoying the beaches, Brian let me drive the golf cart back to the docks for a ferry ride back to Eleuthera. After getting off the boat at Eleuthera, we started driving back to the cottage and stopped at Surfer’s Beach along the way which may be next to Double Bay Beach as there was a spot that looked like that with the coral and waves crashing. There were many beautiful high waves, but no surfers in site. 

surfer's beach

double bay beach?
We enjoyed watching the waves and getting some pictures before leaving that beach.

                On our way through Governor’s Harbour, Brian picked up some fresh fish down by the water. You pick out a fish and then they cut it up for you right in front of you. Again, picture fail on this one, but I didn’t really want to watch the fish being chopped up either. 
                 Our last two days were full of fish with Brian’s fresh fish and then the Friday fish fry on our last night, which was also enjoyable. We actually met a nice older couple vacationing on the island from Colorado. The somewhat scary part was that the guy started his career working on oil fields (like Brian) about 30 years ago and the woman worked in payroll (while I work in accounting). So we all enjoyed talking to one another while enjoying our food. I may not have taken a picture of Brian’s fresh fish, but I made sure to take one of the fish at the fish fry as they literally gave you a fish (this is why I decided on the bbq chicken which was also delicious).
Brian's fish

my chicken
And that ends our wonderful Bahamas vacation. It was hard to get back into the swing of things at home and the cold weather and someday we hope to go back and enjoy this relaxing island again.