Getting Back on Track

Hi There!!!  Welcome Back!!  I know, I know…here we are again.  I’m getting back on track with the whole blogging situation.

I have some exciting news: I have lost 2 pounds!  This may not sound like a lot, but as a girl who is a mere 5’2″ (if I round up!), 2 pounds definitely shows.  I feel stronger in my abs, my clothes fit better and I feel comfortable wearing a 2-piece.  I guess I should say I feel more comfortable wearing a 2-piece.  We spent this weekend on a lake with some good friends and had a wonderful time!!



Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:

My Fitness Pal – I’ve done the whole record everything you eat through an app before (mostly Lose It! and Weight Watchers) and it would work out great for about a week and then I’d miss a day, figure I could skip another day, and then I would never update it again.


I can tell you that I have successfully tracked all my eats with My Fitness Pal (username: jmwhoward, let’s be friends!) for 2 weeks straight.  I do give myself 1 day per work as a “cheat day” where I don’t track anything.  That day this past week would be the day at the lake which would have looked like: an entire bottle of Skinnygirl mojito, chips, beer.

I have allotted myself roughly 1,200 calories per day if I don’t exercise. At first, I didn’t think that would be enough and I would definitely be hungry, but actually I’m not.  I have stuck with eating fruit which is pretty low in calories and keeps me full.  It definitely helps!  So far, so good!

Scheduling Exercise – Last week I planned out all my work outs ahead of time and I actually stuck to it!  So here’s the plan for this week:

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile run & Fitnessista bridal bootcamp
Wednesday – Intervals on the elliptical
Thursday – No Limits Circuit class
Friday – Spinning class (my first one since high school!  I’ll definitely update you on that!)
Saturday – rest
Sunday – yoga

How do you stay on track?

Exhausting Weekend

Oh man!  How was your 4th?  Mine was jam-packed with an 8.5 hour car trip, a wedding shower and then another 8.5 hour car ride back.  I’m exhausted just typing it out!

I really want to get back into blogging because I miss it, I’m just too tired.  Sorry all!

I’m literally typing this with all the lights off and planning on going to bed.

See you tomorrow!🙂

Chicago Women’s Half Marathon Recap

Well..I did it!  I finished the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon!



Good Morning, Sunshine!

The day began with a 4 a.m. wake-up call.  And it was Pride Week in Chicago so when we were getting up some lovely men were coming back to my friend’s apartment building.  She lives in Boystown and the streets were rolling with fabulous men!  And huge shout out for marriage equality!!!

We got ready, I ate a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and then later ate a Power Bar.  Then we got on the bus to head to Grant Park!



Someone wasn’t exactly happy about getting on a bus at 4:50….but the sun never sets on a badass.

We arrived at Grant Park and I drank a couple bottles of Smart Water, went to the bathroom and stretched it out getting ready for the race!  It was already 70 degrees and the race was on high alert due to humidity and temperature.  I knew I was in a bad spot.  I do not do well with heat, as we all know.

The race was set to start at 6:30 and it started promptly.  The owner of Fleet Feet Chicago gave a wonderful speech on how important heart health is for women – it was the charity for the race – and that she was a healthy woman who suffered a heart attack in December.  And she was running the race with us!!  It was a very moving story and truly inspiring that you can bounce back from anything.

And we’re off!!





I started out great!  I kept up with the 2:20 pace team for the first 5 miles, which I was very pleased with!  At mile 2, I ran into the man and said to him, “Wedding Dress!  Wedding Dress! Wedding Dress!”  Is there a better reason to run then that?  I gotta look hot!🙂

But then…it got hot!!  Really hot!  The race did a great job of having a water station every mile, some misting stations with fans and water and some Gu at mile 7.7.

I didn’t want to walk the entire time and I kept that going through until mile 8.  At that point, I just didn’t want to go to a medical tent!  Girls were dropping like flies, I saw 3 girls pass out.  As someone who has fainted 3 times from being overheated, it was more important to me that I finish and not faint then run the whole time but get sick.

So, after mile 8, I took my time – walking up hills and getting passed by women in their 60’s.  BUT I had time to snap these amazing pictures!





I went around the corner of mile 12, saw the sign for Grant Park, and picked up the pace!  I was able to sprint to the end.  That was very important to me: Start Strong, Finish Strong.

The man told me afterwards that when he looked at his phone and he saw 83 degrees, he knew I was in trouble.  He kept looking at his phone because someone was going to call him saying that I had passed out.  But then he saw me running around the corner and breathed a sigh of relief.

So, it wasn’t exactly the best run, but I got a medal!  I finished!  I learned that it is more important to listen to your body then to push yourself and regret it later.




I’m glad it’s over – and I’m glad I survived.  And was able to eat a huge burger and a McFlurry on the way home!

Here’s to running races in March only!!  Happy 4th of July!

The Silence is Deafening

Holy Cow!  I know it’s been a super long time since I blogged and I’m so sorry.

Since I started my new job, it’s been really difficult to transition into my new routine, get acclimated to my new company, wedding planning and running a half marathon, blogging took a back seat.  The past three weeks have been a whirlwind, but I realized something: I MISS BLOGGING!  (does this all sound familiar?)  I know, it’s awful.

Here’s what I’ve been up to and will be sure to update in greater detail later:

1. New Job: My new job is wonderful!  It’s the perfect combination of creativity and business that I have been craving since I graduated college 3 years ago!



2. Running the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon



This is pre-race and it was on high alert because of heat.  We woke up at 4 am and it was already 70 degrees!  I’m going to write a full recap of the race, but I’ll warn you, it wasn’t pretty.  I finished, but it wasn’t pretty.

3. Wedding planning.  No pictures to show this, but we had 2 meetings the weekend of the half marathon that were quite exhausting.

4. Lack of sleep.  I didn’t sleep that well the weekend of the half and I still haven’t caught up.  Actually I’m quite exhausted now.

Instead of showering you with tons of words, I’ll for sure be writing some great recaps and getting back into the grove.  See you soon!

Why I’ve Been M.I.A.

Hi All!!  I absolutely know that I have been M.I.A. lately…how many times have I said that?  Is it getting as annoying for you as it is for me?

Well, there’s no point in going all the way back to Thursday (MY BIRTHDAY!) but I want to start fresh.  Here’s some things going on in my life:

1. I got a new job!!  Sales wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, so I started pursuing new jobs in marketing and putting some feelers out there.  And luck would have it that I stumbled upon a great job at a company that creates branded merchandise for big companies.  My technical title is Marketing Project Lead and essentially I am a project manager.  I am so excited for my new endeavor and I’ve been focusing on that the last week.  I am sorry that I have been missing, but this is why.  The blog is for me and only me, but the new job has taken precedent.  I will get back to this!

2. I went home for the weekend! It was wonderful.  I celebrated Father’s Day with my dad and went dress shopping with my mom for the wedding.  No dice but we’re getting closer.

3. I’m exhausted.


The Sandlot’s 20th Year!

Good Morning!  Happy June 13th to all of you!  Today is my birthday!  I am 25 years old!  I will write a post detailing what I did on my birthday tomorrow, but now I want to get into the last 2 days.

Man oh man has the weather in Michigan been PMSing.  It’s been gorgeous outside (like today) and then rain (like yesterday).  Luckily it only rained last night, but still, pick a season.

I’m going to blow through Tuesday and Wednesday’s eats so I can get the real fun stuff – The Sandlot! 

Breakfast –  
2 Eggo Whole Wheat Nutri-Grain Waffles with peanut butter and a banana.  This is a class breakfast that never fails. It’s filling, full of protein and potassium.  #yummy



2 whole wheat waffles – 170 calories, 26g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein
2 tbsp Jif creamy peanut butter – 190 calories, 8g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g protein
1 banana – 105 calories, 27g carbs, 31g fiber, 1.3g protein


This meal kept me full for quite a long time.  I was pleasantly surprised, actually, not really surprised, pleased is a better word.

Lunch – I attempted to recreate a recipe from Whole Foods for a smoked mozzarella salad.  It was an epic failure.  It tasted nothing like it!!  I won’t share the recipe since it didn’t turn out and I feel bad about that.  It looked so promising.



I think the main problem was that I added too much basil. I think it didn’t need it at all.  Note to self.  I did eat the peppers and the mozzarella cheese and a little bit of spinach.




LUNCH TOTAL (I took the calories from the Whole Foods smoked mozzarella pasta salad) – 262 CALORIES, 27.7G CARBS, 3.5G FIBER, 10.2G PROTEIN

I think this is actually too much, but that’s okay.

SNACKS – I had 2 snacks on Tuesday.  One included a trip to Starbucks and one was an apple.


I love me some skinny iced hazelnut macchiato.



And an apple.  Please note my signed copy of Cupcakes and Cashmere the book! <– Thanks, Meg!

1 grande skinny iced hazelnut macchiato – 180 calories, 35g carbs, 0g fiber, 10g protein
1 small Fuji apple – 109 calories, 29.27g carbs, 5.1g fiber, .56g protein


I actually exercised twice on Tuesday!  I mean, I did 20 minutes of stretching, which isn’t even worth calculating the total of calories burned, but it’s worth mentioning.

EXERCISE – Some “yoga” and running 4 miles.



I set out to run 11 miles, but the trail was getting pretty dark and looks like this:



I have seen too many Law and Order: SVU episodes to run with a clear mind when the trail is deserted and completely lined with trees.  Yes, I know I’m paranoid.


By the time I was done running, I wasn’t even hungry.  So I ate another banana (not picture) and had 2 graham crackers with PB, chocolate chips and honey!



1 banana – 105 calories, 27g carbs, 31g fiber, 1.3g protein
4 total honey graham crackers – 120 calories, 21.5g carbs, 8g fiber, .19g protein
2 tbsp peanut butter – 190 calories, 8g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g protein
1 tbsp honey – 64 calories, 17g carbs, 0g fiber, .1g protein
1 serving mini chocolate chips – 70 calories, 9g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein


TUESDAY TOTAL CALORIES – 1,565 CALORIES CONSUMED, 235.41G CARBS, 85.6G FIBER, 41.16G PROTEIN (net calories after run is 1,115 calories).  I’m quite pleased with this.  I had whole foods and exercised.  If I did this every day, we’d be in great shape….

…which brings us to Wednesday!

Breakfast – The day started off really well, with a banana, Chobani Greek yogurt and some granola.






1 banana – 105 calories, 27g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 1.3g protein
1 Chobani strawberry banana Greek yogurt – 160 calories, 19g carbs, 1g fiber, 14g protein
1/4 cup vanilla almond crunch granola – 120 calories, 22g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g protein


This breakfast was quite filling and I didn’t get hungry for lunch until 12:30!

Lunch – Of course a trip to Whole Foods was in order.  Why not?  I purchased a La Croix lime sparkling water and a salmon avocado roll with multi-grain rice.  Supper yummy!  I really like adding flavored sparkling water to the mix.  It’s still drinking water but isn’t boring!




Not too bad.  But then, I ate some snacks!

SNACKS – I had 2 long Tootsie Rolls because they were in the office, and when was the last time you had a Tootsie Roll?  But then I was healthy and had an apple…but then I had some Graeter’s mint chocolate chip ice cream.  YOU MUST GET THIS CINCINNATI ICE CREAM!  I used to go to the storefronts all the time as a kid and now it’s sold in Whole Foods.  It’s the best ice cream because it’s got HUGE chunks of dark chocolate, yes please!






2 Tootise Rolls – 70 calories, 14g carbs, 0g fiber, .6g protein
1 Fuji apple – 109 calories, 29.27g carbs, 5.1g fiber, .56g protein
1.2 cup Graeter’s mint chocolate chip – 300 calories, 31g carbs, 0g fiber, 3g protein


So those snacks weren’t so great, but they were delicious.

And then it came to an Italian dinner!  We love Italian food.  We love pasta.  We love bruschetta.  So that’s what we had!

Dinner – homemade bruschetta on Italian bread, Barilla plus spaghetti over Mario Batali sauce and roasted veggies.  All I did to roast the veggies was preheat the oven to 450 degrees, put cauliflower and a little bit of broccoli in mixing bowl, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a few tbsp of garlic salt and then cook for 17 minutes.  So easy and amazingly delicious!





2 servings of bruschetta – 204 calories, 34g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 6g protein
2 oz pasta – 210 calories, 28g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g protein (the plus gives it all the protein)
1/2 cup sauce – 70 calories, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g protein
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese – 22 calories, .2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1.9g protein
Roasted veggies – 100 calories, 5g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 2.8g protein



All in all, Wednesday wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but definitely too many carbs consumed.  But, it wasn’t over 2,00 calories which is my goal never to go over!!  Job well done!


Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of The Sandlot.  I LOVE THIS MOVIE!  Not only is it about baseball, which I love, it’s got some great one liners.  “You’re killing me, Smalls” is my all-time favorite.  “FOR-E-V-E-R.”  “The Great Bambino.  Oh, I thought you said the great bambi.”


Naturally, when I was wandering the aisles of Target and I stumbled upon a dvd of this glorious movie for only $5, I had to snag it and watch it on the anniversary!

Side note: Did you know Smalls’ mom is actually Katie from Animal House?  (I also am a huge fan of Animal House).  MIND BLOWN!

As Katie (Source)



As the mom (Source)

She looks pretty darn good!!  Classic movie!🙂

And if you’ve read this whole thing, please email me and I will send you a prize!

What I’m Loving Wednesday



This edition of What I’m Loving Wednesday is focused around one article from The Atlantic. 

It’s an article titled, “How to Live in a World where Marriage is in Decline.

As a woman who is about to embark on the new world of marriage, I found this article extremely interesting.  The most interesting fact is that every state has seen a decline in marriage in women aged 25-49, except Utah in the 1990s.  Those Mormons sure are into marriage.  (joking, I actually know quite a few Mormons from high school.  Come to think of it, they’re all married with at least one child, but I digress).

The article says that in order to reduce the decline in marriage we need to do reduce the disadvantages of unmarried parents.  This to me seems like it would be the opposite.  If you wanted to increase marriage, wouldn’t you want to reduce the advantages to being unmarried?

There are quite a few graphs in the article that don’t make much sense to this left-brained girl.  I’m just intrigued by any articles that discuss marriage because I’m at the time in my life when I want to learn all I can to have a successful marriage.

All in all, it’s an interesting read whether you believe it or not.

What do you think it takes to be in a successful marriage?