Chicago Gourmet 2018 Recap

Chicago Gourmet weekend is now over and I have to say, it was perfect. The weather was amazing (last year was over 95 degrees) and being sober, I was really on the hunt for good food.

Chicago Gourmet is a foodie and wine event that Bon Appetit magazine sponsors every year at Millennium Park. It brings together renowned chefs, restaurants, wine and spirits. There are tastings, book signings, cooking demos, and wine and cocktail seminars throughout the event. It is truly a “foodie” experience.

This year extra special because I got invited to a pre-party with COUNTRY Financial with a demo from Chef Tony Priolo from Piccolo Sogno, which is literally my top 5 favorite restaurants in Chicago. They sponsored the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ tent, which was one of the best parts. Live music, BBQ, cocktails, and lot’s of photo opportunities.

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Chicago Gourmet 2018 Country Financial tent

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Stroller Strides Review: A fitness class for moms

Ever since staying at home with Noah, finding time to workout was difficult. I missed that ‘me’ time. I also like to fill our days with lots of activities and keep busy, so when Fit4Mom reached out about Stroller Strides, I thought it would be a great chance to get out of the house with him, all while getting my workout in.

I didn’t know much about what Stroller Strides was or how it worked. What I did know was that Noah had to sit in the stroller for a 60 minute class while I exercised. Excited to start, I was a little hesitant that he wouldn’t be able to stay in the stroller for that long while I had “mommy time”. He really didn’t like to be in the stroller much these days.

Stroller Strides with fit4mom in Chicago

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One month without a car in Chicago

Like many Chicagoland residents, the traffic in the summer is outrageous. With all the increase in Ubers and Lyfts, I felt like these past few months have been even worse. For example, I was heading to the Western Suburbs this past July and my normal 45-50 minute commute turned into a 2 hour nightmare (I almost ran out of gas, but that’s a whole other story…). Traffic, parking, construction, and so on was driving me crazy.

I also was becoming too reliant on our car. We have so many forms of public transportation within steps of our home, why did I keep driving everywhere? I was spending so much money on parking and gas, but why? When Lyft asked me to join their #ditchwithlyft campaign, it was perfect timing. I knew it was time to ditch our car for the month and take more public transportation.

ditching our car for one month and taking public transportationditching our car for one month and taking public transportation Continue reading

Pregnancy Update: Hello 3rd Trimester

As I am sitting here while Noah naps, I really can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is going compared to the first. I heard that when you have a toddler, the second pregnancy flies by. No talking or singing to the belly anymore, knowing what weekly ‘fruit’ you are, no more reading the pregnancy books and blogs…so on. I would say part of that true, but Noah has been giving so much love to her these days. It really warms my heart! But lately, there is so much happening every day, time just seems to get away. But we are slowly getting ready for her (mentally too!) and we are so excited for her arrival.  Continue reading

Tips for throwing a kid friendly football party

NFL is officially back! I actually love watching football on Sundays, one of the best parts of fall. The food, friends and watching my oh-so-sad Chicago Bears. Before kids, my Sunday Funday would be spent out at brunch with bottomless mimosas and greasy food, but time has changed all that. Now, we usually have families here with kids and a few less mimosas. But it’s still so much fun, I look forward to it every week.

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The “All American Family” Portrait with HP

When HP reached out looking for our aspect on what the American Family was, I felt two things. One, I was like, YES! I would love to share our family, our values and so on. What a cool experience right?! Family is one of the most important things in my life, in the world really. I couldn’t pass that up. And two, HP is an amazing company. It’s actually the computer I do all my blogging on. I got rid of my Mac a few years ago and have only been using this HP Envy Computer and just love it.

After a few rounds of interviews, a video submission and questionnaire, we made it in. I didn’t really know what to expect from the video shoot except I knew it was going to be a long day of filming with other families from the Chicagoland area. HP American Family campaignHP American Family campaign Continue reading

Blogging: Transition from a food to lifestyle blogger

This is kind of a rare topic for me. I don’t typically write about blogging or my process, which I can if that’s interesting, I just don’t think anyone would really care to read about it! (but please message me if you think differently!)

When I first started the Instagram account in 2015, I mainly focused on food. At that point in my life, it was just Manny and I. We dined out all the time, trying new restaurants, traveled and enjoyed being married, but as our family grew, things changed.  Continue reading

Turkey Black Bean Sloppy Joe Recipe

I woke up with a serious pregnancy craving last week. I needed Sloppy Joe. It’s a childhood classic and I knew I had to make it for dinner. This recipe is a little lighter than the traditional recipe, but still very kid friendly (Noah devoured it). It’s also made with San Marzano tomatoes, but can easily be swapped out for tomato sauce.

turkey black bean sloppy joe recipe

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My Thoughts on Amazon Fresh

 I will admit it, I love grocery shopping. Like, a lot. I plan out our meals for the week in advance and shop based around the menu we have planned. But there are times when life happens and getting groceries delivered is a lifesaver. It’s also one of the best registry gifts for newborns (we registered at Buy, Buy Baby and Amazon. I recommend it to everyone when they ask, “what do I get a mom with a newborn?”. Groceries, Grubhub, really anything delivered is always helpful for new moms.

When Noah was an infant, we got groceries delivered a few times and it helped so much. It was winter and there were weeks we couldn’t leave the house. This past week, it was  busy, I had an Amazon gift card, so I decided to try Amazon Fresh for the first time. Why not?!

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