July Monthly Faves Link Up!

MonthlyFaves+ButtonThis is my first time linking up with A Deeper Joy and Make Me Up Mia, but I love the idea of summing up my favorites from the past month, so thanks for hosting ladies!

I’m also talking books with my friend Molly today Colors of Life Blog.

bookwormwednesday1And last but not least I’m joining Holly to share on:



I’ve been super busy this month and haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. My mom moved into town in July, Dave and I went home to Chicago, and my little sister has been in town visiting too, so I’ve had my hands full to say the least.

But I will say that one of my favorite books that I’ve read recently is Wild by  Cheryl Strayed. I would recommend it to everyone. She is such an inspiration and her 1,000+ solo hike makes for such an amazing read. You can find my full review here.




Ever since seeing Amy Schumer on The Bachelorette, I’ve become a big fan. I love her humor and how fearless she is. I’m excited to see her new movie, I’ve heard great things about it.



I know it already started this week, but I am so excited for Bachelor in Paradise. It is such a guilty pleasure show of mine. It’s fun to see past cast members mingling. I hope there are some lasting relationships from this show. I love love and I think you can find it anywhere, even on crazy reality shows 🙂

It'syourday!This month was really eventful and my two favorite events were the Men Tell All Taping and the Chicago Half Marathon.

me +my friend

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-13


And lastly I am trying to soak up summer as best I can and I made a California bucket list that I need to get to before we make the move to Seattle in the fall. I want to do the Potato Chip Rock hike and take my boyfriend to see the tv tapings of Jimmy Kimmel and Conan, among a few other things.



Can’t wait to hear what you all have been up to this past month!



My Trip Home to Chicago July 2015

One quick side note before today’s post, my friend, Molly from Colors of Life is featuring me today on her blog about Why I love hiking and you can too! Be sure to check it out here! Thanks again so much for asking me to be a part of your series girl!

Thursday the 16th of July, Dave and I took off for a few days back home in Chicago. Here’s a little recap of our time there.

planeThe fact that we are able to fly thousands of miles in a few hours among the clouds is never lost on me. I’ve always loved flying.

Thursday- I got off work early Thursday and we finished packing and headed to LAX (the LA airport), grabbed a quick bite to eat at Boa Steakhouse which was really good. We split a burger and had some key lime pie. (Isn’t that what everyone eats before a half marathon?!)



keyI usually eat pretty healthy, but a girl has got to indulge every once in a while, am I right? And as you can see I’m currently in the middle of that Katie Couric book.

We flew in late to O’hare Airport at 9pm and came home to some rain. Living in California where there’s a drought, it’s so fun to see rain again! I miss the smell and freshness of it. My parents came to pick us up, we dropped off Dave at his parent’s house and I was hungry so my parents fed me. Nothing like a home cooked meal, no matter how old you are! 😉

Every time I’m at O’hare and walk through this hallway I think of Home Alone, what a great movie, definitely one of my favorites!


Friday-I ran errands with my dad all morning. He is currently in process of selling my childhood home that I grew up in and lived in for 20+ years, and it’s such a big production. There is so much work to get a house ready to sell. I don’t know how people do it all the time! Between the cleaning, packing, donating, and throwing stuff out, it’s exhausting! I’ll be really sad to see the house go, but it is getting to be too much work and upkeep for my dad and step mom. We checked out a storage unit, talked to the village about getting a house inspection, and met with our realtor.

We got home, ate lunch, and cleaned the rest of the afternoon until dinner time. Our basement has so many memories and stuff we need to pack up and that took a while. It’s fun to go through stuff, but it’s also crazy to think about the stuff we hold on to, but never use!

After an afternoon of cleaning, my dad and I ate dinner and then Dave and I headed downtown to the McCormick Place (a convention center) to pick up my race day bib.


i1KodgkaeL8k50gJMbvH_vd0oASeRqwP8PUuX1eXqSQ=w662-h882-noFor those of you who haven’t been to an expo, it’s a fun place to check out new running gear, try some samples, and grab any last min items you may need before the race.

pLrxnmr3VLmLow-VCiXTXpIovtExfF_rC9R4WWXJWh0=w1176-h882-noMy favorite thing that they offer at the expo is this little wristband that gives you an outline for how you should pace to stay on track for your goal finishing time. Because along the race path they have clocks to let you know your time and it’s awesome to see if you’re pacing correctly and to remind yourself to speed it up, or take your time.


From the expo, we went to a friend’s house who let us borrow a camera for the weekend, which is how we were able to have such awesome pics from the race! (Thanks Chris!) Then we met up with two of our best friends Ryan and Vi (the other half of Say Yes to Happy!) and her boyfriend Jacob. We walked to dinner from her place then went to Dairy Queen after.

It was a very full first day back and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Linking up today with Sweet Little Ones for:Tuesday+Talk+Button


Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon July 2015

Happy Monday friends! Over the weekend I decided to update the blog layout a little, what do you guys think? And secondly, thanks to one of Mattie’s post I decided to join BlogLovin’ it’s so genius to have all the blogs you read in one place. I’m so new to it, I’d love any tips you guys have. You can follow us here or by clicking on our bloglovin’ graphic on the sidebar.

Last week I went home to Chicago for a few days from Thursday July 16-Monday July 20th. Later this week I’ll do a full recap of the trip, but I thought I’d start with the half marathon I ran on Sunday with one of my best friends. This was our second time running the half marathon, last time we did it was July 2013. Since then we’ve also run a full marathon in Hawaii last December (something I still have to blog about!)

The race started at 6:30am but I woke up at 4am because my cousin Zack and running coach, told me to eat two pieces of toast and a banana 3 hours before the race to give my stomach time to digest. So I was up at the crack of dawn while it was still dark out. Dave drove over to my parent’s house at 5:15am and we took off for downtown. The streets were blocked off but we luckily found parking in a lot for $30 for all day.

For those of you who know Chicago, or are just curious, here is the route we took.halfWe started walking over to Grant Park and met up with Melissa (one of my best friends who ran the half with me) and her boyfriend Nico. We all went to the bathroom before the race started and started walking over the starting line. I took a before picture with my dad and stepmom. I was born and raised in Illinois and we are Chicago Bears fans but my dad loves wearing jerseys and just happened to pick a Green Bay Packers jersey today, made me laugh. He said he felt some people giving him looks. 🙂

Like I said, I ran a half and a full marathon before, but this one was special to me because my parents came to support me and it meant a lot! 071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-2Here we are around 6:30am waiting for the start line. It was already a little humid at this point. For those of you who don’t know, when you sign up, you predict your finish time and then they put your in corrals (like a cow) and you wait in the group to start. So the crazies who finish in an hour/hour and a half start way ahead of us normal folk. This time and in 2013, it took about a half hour to get to the actual starting line because it’s literally thousands of people running. 22,000 this year to be exact.

Another thing to notice is on our shoes, we have little red tags. That tracks our time when we hit certain check points and logs our final time.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-6My boyfriend Dave is a cinematographer/camera operator/director of photography who works on TV for major networks like Discovery, Animal Planet, and National Geographic, so it’s pretty awesome to have my own personal photographer for the race. 🙂 His pictures are always amazing but this one has got to be my favorite! I need to frame this one. I love the Chicago theater sign and this picture just makes me happy.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-13Most races I do I usually spot a few people dressed up, this guy was dressed as Elvis obviously, but the crazier thing to me is that he’s not wearing any shoes! That has gotta hurt.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-15I know I say it all the time, but come on, Chicago is gorgeous!

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-22Our blurry action shot, check out those guns (not really!)

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-30The first 7 miles we felt great. We were talking almost the entire time, which is new to me since I train by myself. It was so nice to catch up and take in the streets of Chicago. Made me miss home a lot more actually. But then it started to get hot and really humid. We really looked forward to the water stations. We had to stop and make a bathroom break, which took about 10 or 15 minutes! Which got added to our time. And of course a few feet ahead of us was a whole row of porta potties. (We waited in line for two.)

There was a section of the race where we overlapped and had to turn a corner. It was really fun and motivating to high five the other runners and encourage one another to finish strong. That’s always one of my favorite parts of the race day environment. How positive and supportive everyone is. 🙂 I keep telling myself one of these days I’m going to go to a half or a full marathon and just cheer on random strangers.

I also started to get stomach cramps toward the end like around mile 11, so we had to walk a little (which I didn’t do for the first half) anyways even though it got a little hot towards the end we were SO happy to be done and finished strong sprinting in. My favorite way to finish a race!

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-32I also love the runner swag we get at the finish line. They had bananas, chocolate milk, beer, bagels, and popsicles!

Because I had my phone on me the entire time, I was able to text Dave and my parents my whereabouts so we had no trouble meeting up at the end of the race. And that’s also how Dave was able to catch us at so many different points throughout the race. We met up 4 different times, it was so motivating and uplifting to see him. 🙂

Here is our after picture with my shiny new medal and the Buckingham Fountain in full effect.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-37Melissa and I have been best friends for 10 years this August. We met our freshmen year in college and have been close ever since despite me moving to Washington DC and California. She’s been my running buddy through the 5k Color Run, the 2013 Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon, 2014 Honolulu Marathon, and now the 2015 Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon. We volunteered for the Chicago Marathon while we were in college years ago and ever since then wanted to finish a full marathon and now we have. It’s been an awesome journey running with her and whether we retire our running shoes or run again next year is still to be determined. 🙂


071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-40For all you fellow runners in the blogging world, you know what the high of running and finishing a major race feels like.

For people who want to run a half or a full or some distance in between for the first time, YOU CAN DO IT! Just stick to a training plan and be consistent. And I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, leave me a comment

And for people who don’t like to run and think we are crazy, we probably are. 🙂


And for Monday I’m linking up with: Meghan @ Champagne + Suburbs, RunningnReading, Marvelous in My Monday and



Friday Favorites!

Because I flew in from Chicago Monday night, this week has flown by for me. Can’t believe it’s already Friday! So excited for this weekend. My little sister is in town from Chicago to hang out before she goes back to school in mid August so we’ve got some fun things planned for the weekend. What are you all up to this weekend?

the-new-youThis week I found two articles that were really sweet, sad, and inspirational.

Texas Girl Born with Rare Bone Disorder Raises $11,000 on Her Birthday for the Hospital That Helped Her Walk. You can read more about it here.



New York Couple Adopts Dying Friend’s Four Daughters. People Magazine did an article about them you can read about here. They also have a fundraising page you can donate to.

d862df2a-e0d2-4d2f-b932-f7c5fb462df9_profileTHE NEW YOU(2)Prince George turned 2 this week! I am such a sucker for anything royal. I mean just look how happy that sweet boy is. This is such a precious moment captured and I am officially obsessed.


THE NEW YOU(3)I had the best time at the Men Tell All Taping two weeks ago. I finally did my recap yesterday.

me +my friendfiveThis week I also participated in the List of 10 things I love and hate after I was tagged by Emily. Quick recap I love reading, playing tennis, and am a sucker for rom coms. I hate being late or rushed, clutter, and getting my blood drawn.

0973c21b26cff02884470cb1f045bef5Next week, I’ll share my trip back home and my half marathon experience! See you all next week!


Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week:

 A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals

Waiting On Wednesday Link Up

I recently found this blog called While I’m Waiting and on Wednesdays she does a link up where you can talk about what you’re “waiting on, going through, making, anything – as long as it’s family-friendly!” waiting+on+Wednesday+link+up+button-transparent+backgroundSo I thought this week I’d link up and share what I’m waiting on.

Starting tomorrow Dave and I will be heading home to Chicago for a long weekend, Thursday to Monday. (I have posts scheduled for the time I’ll be gone, but may not be able to comment until I get back.) As much as we both love to travel, we are both really looking forward to spending a few days back home with our parents and friends. There really is no place like home. 🙂

We are flying home for my cousin’s wedding Saturday. Sunday is going to be a super full day. I’m running the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon, as well as going on a boat architecture tour with my parents, and then meeting up with some friends to kayak the Chicago River. So lots to look forward to! We will only be home for a few short days so we have to cram a lot in. Then my sister will be flying back with us to spend some time in sunny California.

Here is a picture of Dave and I kayaking the Chicago River back in 2009. It’s been quite a while since we did this, so we’re both really looking forward to it! And my two best friends and their boyfriends are going to come with us. Nothing like time with your besties 🙂 I’ll try to take a few pictures to share.


I’ll be really happy when the half marathon is over. It will be fun and I love running through the beautiful city, but there’s always a huge sense of relief and accomplishment at the finish line! 🙂

I’ll do my best to blog about the half marathon when we get back from our trip. I’ll share what works for me for training and I’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have, to the best of my ability. But trust me, I’m no running expert, I just know what has worked well for me in the past.

I’m excited to read what other bloggers are up to on this link up. See you all soon!