Monday, April 30, 2018

What I'm Loving this Month // April

Today, I'm starting a new monthly series featuring what I'm loving each month. This can include food, activities, fashion, tv, etc. - it's whatever I've been enjoying for the past 30 days. First up: April!

American Idol and Will & Grace
It may not be everyone's opinion, but I'm loving Katy Perry. I never realized how knowledgeable she was, plus, she's freaking funny. Just totally herself and unapologetically so. I've also been watching Will & Grace's first eight seasons on Hulu. I only have the series finale left, so I'm about to start the new series!

Pixel Art
This is an app I downloaded from an Instagram ad, believe-it-or-not - and I love it! It's color by number, so super simple to use. It's my go-to app for relaxation right now.

Working Out
This month, I've consistently been working out at least 3 times a week and I'm loving it. I used to be a competitive dancer, so it's nice to be getting back into shape. My muscles are slowly realizing what it means to work again and I can feel myself getting stronger.

Champion for Target Workout Attire
This is practically all I wear when I work out. I have their leggings, runners, sports bras, and shirts. They're comfortable, cute, and reasonably priced.

Going to the Movies
This month, I've gone to the movies almost once a week. I saw Love, Simon, Chappaquiddick, and I Feel Pretty. Up until this month, I hadn't been to the movies in ages and I forgot how much I enjoyed it.

Spring Nail Colors
It's finally warming up here in the Midwest, which means the spring nail polishes are coming out! This month, I've had my nails painted Thanks a WindMillion by OPI and Look at my Bow! by OPI.

Windy Cindy Blogger Collective
I recently stumbled upon this Instagram account that showcases Chicago bloggers. I'm loving connecting with other bloggers in my area!

Tell me: what are you loving this month?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Fashion Finds // Striped Spring Dresses

One of the Spring Shopping Essentials that I keep coming back to is the striped dress. It's flirty, sophisticated, and easy-going. Plus, it's cute with flip flops, but can easily be dressed up for a night out. Below are my favorite striped dresses for spring!

Which style is your favorite?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bible Verses // God is your Rock

rock (rok) noun a firm foundation or support

Back when I was still blogging on The Light that Carries Me, I started an alphabet word series. I picked one word per letter and found verses that coincided with that word. It was a way that got me into the Word while focusing on something that mattered to me. Over time, I stopped posting them, making it to letter Q with Quiet. I recently felt the urge to start it up again, so each month, I'm going to share the remaining letters with you.

Today, I'm looking into the word Rock. Throughout so much of my health struggles, one thing remained: the steadfastness of Christ. No matter what the circumstance, God will forever be constant, fully loving and encouraging you. Below, I've compiled Bible verses to show you that God is always your Rock.

Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

2 Samuel 22:2 "He said: 'The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.'"

2 Samuel 22:47 "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!"

Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety."

Psalm 18:31 "For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?"

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Psalm 61:2 "From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Psalm 62:6 "He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken."

Psalm 95:1 "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation."

Isaiah 26:4 "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal."

Matthew 7:25 "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

1 Corinthians 10:3-4 "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."

To read letters A-Q of my alphabet word study, click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

20 Fun Activities to do with your Girlfriends

Spending time with friends is one of my favorite things to do! Add in a fun activity and I'm in heaven. But sometimes it can be hard to get out of the rut of going out to eat or staying in to watch tv. To help you get out there and do more with your friends, I've put together a list of 20 fun activities to do with your girlfriends.

PAINT NITE - Try your hand at painting, while also enjoying a glass of vino.

WINE TASTING - Speaking of vino - why not head to a winery to try different varieties?

HIKING - Get outside and find a trail that leads to a beautiful view. Hello perfect photo opp!

SIGHTSEE IN YOUR CITY - Sometimes playing tourist in your own backyard can be the most fun.

COOKING CLASS - Learn how to make something new and as a bonus, enjoy what you made.

OLD-SCHOOL SLEEPOVER - Grab the face masks, chick flicks, and sweets and have a classic girls' night.

SEE A PLAY - Even better - find a sing-a-long version of your favorite musical.

GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET - Grab some fresh food from the market and have a picnic.

RENT BIKES AND EXPLORE - Sometimes two wheels are better than four.

GLOW-IN-THE-DARK BOWLING OR MINI GOLF - It doesn't get better than healthy competition and blacklight.

EXERCISE CLASS - Break a sweat at a favorite workout spot.

DARTS & KARAOKE - Head to a dive bar to throw some darks and sing some karaoke.

VOLUNTEER - What better way to give back than with friends?

RUN A 5K - You can train together and beat your best time together.

HAVE A BONFIRE - Relax outside while roasting marshmallows around a fire pit.

VISIT A BREWERY - Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of your favorite brews.

HAVE A GAME NIGHT - Get competitive with your friends over a game of Phase 10 or Catch Phrase.

TAKE A DAY TRIP - Find somewhere an hour or two away and go exploring.

ARTS & CRAFTS NIGHT - Break out the coloring books, paint sets, and calligraphy pens.

TRY SOMETHING NEW WITH GROUPON - Do something outside of your comfort zone for less.

What's your favorite activity to do with your girlfriends?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Recipe: Super Simple Cheeseball

Today I'm sharing one of my mom's most trusted recipes: her cheeseball. This dip is incredibly easy to make, but is always a crowd favorite. And what better day than National Cheeseball Day to share it with you!? Enjoy this super simple, 4-ingredient cheeseball - perfect for your next get-together.

8 ounces light cream cheese
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Soften cream cheese.
2. Mix all ingredients.
3. Put mixture into saran wrap. This will allow you to mold the mixture into a ball.
4. Remove cheeseball from saran wrap and place in serving dish.
5. Dip crackers, veggies, or apples and enjoy!

Happy National Cheeseball Day everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Chicago Hotspot // Eataly

Today, I'm starting a new series on the blog featuring different Chicago hotspots. Since I'm moving there this summer, I'll be exploring the city in a whole new way, so thought I'd share my findings. First up is Eataly Chicago where some friends and I went yesterday for their weekend wine party.

HOTSPOT: Eataly Chicago
WHERE: River North
WHAT: A large Italian marketplace with a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, and bakery.

Eataly has two floors filled with all of the Italian goodies you could want. The first floor has kitchenware, coffee, and desserts. In the dessert area, you'll find a Nutella bar, cannoli bar, gelato station, and pastry area. When I was there, I got a 4-pack of pastries - super tasty! The second floor houses their 9 restaurants, wine bar, vegetable oil shop, second coffee bar, and market. During their wine event, we were able to taste a variety of wines, as well as get a glass of our favorite to sip on as we explored the store. Eataly also offers cooking and wine classes that you can sign up for (something I'm definitely going to do once living in Chicago).

If you're in the mood for some Italian goodies, head over to Eataly!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Yellow Shopping Finds

Although it's spring, we've had snow, thunderstorms, and some seriously overcast days this week. Therefore, I think we could all use a little sunshine. Today, I've rounded up some of my favorite yellow shopping finds to bring some happiness (and sunshine) into your life.

Pineapple tin candle / Lemon spoon rest / Rain jacket / Tassel earrings / Insulated water bottle / Lemon-patterend tea towel / Pineapple cookie jar / Happiness journal / Yellow lamp base / Floral dress / Pastel satchel / Velvet pillow / Pineapple socks

Want more yellow? See below!

 Hope these brings some sunshine into your dreary spring days.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Trip Recap: New York City

This past week, I spent time in New York City for my first all-team meeting. One major perk about working out of our NYC office - one of my childhood best friends works there, too! I was able to see her throughout my time in the city, which was amazing! Eighteen years of friendship and counting. When I wasn't with Shannon, I was with my entire Talent Engagement team, complete with our North American and Latin American groups. We had all-day meetings where we learned so much about the business and team events during the evenings. It was a wonderful welcome into my new team and can't wait to continue my journey with them and Diageo.

Wondering what exactly I did during the week? It's all below!

MONDAY: I arrived in NYC and met Shannon at my hotel. We grabbed dinner at Heartbeat, complete with lemon drops and jalapeƱo margaritas. We finished the night by watching the March Madness championship game with cider.

TUESDAY: I arrived earlier than the rest of my team to help prep for the meeting, along with some of our Latin American members. We went to Urbanspace for lunch, which was such a cool market-style lunch place. After bar night at the office, Shannon and I saw Kinky Boots on Broadway! It was David Cook's Broadway debut and he killed it!

WEDNESDAY: After our all-day meetings were finished, we went to bar night for a bit before heading to our Latin American themed evening. We had a custom Mexican menu created for us at The Breslin which was phenomenal.

THURSDAY: After work, I headed to Yankees Stadium to catch a game. What a cool experience! Definitely an All-American night.

FRIDAY: We had meetings in the morning and then I flew home at 5.

It was a jam-packed week full of connections, learning, and special events. I am definitely tired, but had such a great time with my team!