I Won The Lottery; No Really, I Did

Living in a great city like Chicago affords you the constant opportunity to see and do so much. I sometimes get FOMO (fear of missing out) because I can only be in one place at one time! I want to do it all, ha ha. I’ve recently had the chance to check out some unbelievable shows and musicals and thought I’d share them with you. Make sure to stay on top of these because as it goes, most shows are only around for a limited time. And, I promise to tell you how I won the lottery….keep reading.

Luzia

Luzia

Luzia by Cirque du Soleil– I’ve been so fortunate to experience many Cirque du Soleil shows, so I’m no newbie to these amazing productions. The latest installment called Luzia has just landed in Chicago until early September and I was lucky enough to attend the premiere show. With the unbelievable acrobatics, beautiful sets and amazing music, this show is staged as a “waking dream through imaginary Mexico.” The vibrant colors and costumes were mesmerizing and I was blown away at it all, so much so, that I am seriously considering going back to see it again. There were so many elements of the show that I have never seen before, so it was truly a feast for the eyes. It is imagination brought to real life. If you have the opportunity to go to the show, make sure you do. I hope you love Luzia as much as I did! Thanks to the Mexico Board of Tourism for the tickets.

Spamilton

Spamilton

Spamilton– I had no idea this show was even a thing! But, it makes sense. As most of you know, the Broadway hit Hamilton has taken the nation by storm. It’s pretty much impossible to score tickets, even when paying hefty sums of money to see the show. Being such a huge success, it was only a matter of time before someone developed the spoof on it. The parody of Hamilton called Spamilton was hilarious and you don’t even have to have seen Hamilton to appreciate it (although it does help). With so many references to other Broadway hits, I found myself laughing and engaged throughout the entire show. It was so much fun and I think it’s great for a night out with some friends or to just get out and do something different. If you are looking for a night of laughs, definitely check out the show at the Royal George Theater in Lincoln Park.

My Parents Excited To See Hamilton

My Parents Excited To See Hamilton

Hamilton Lottery– Speaking of Hamilton, I just had to share this. In case you didn’t already know, you can enter a daily lottery to try to win tickets to see Hamilton (both NYC and Chicago have a lottery for their respective shows). Even though I saw the show back in February, I have been trying for months to win tickets. If you do happen to win, the tickets are only $10 each, which I originally thought was the best part about it. Oh no….I heard from others that not only do you pay only $10 per ticket, you can score front row orchestra seats. WHAT????? Ok, game on. My parents happened to be staying with me for a few days and even though I had been trying to win tickets for a long time for my co-worker Alisa and I to go together, I just played along like I always did expecting the daily rejection email I was so accustomed to receiving. On this one random day, I saw the email from the Hamilton Lottery saying, “YOU WON.” I didn’t even know what to do with myself because I couldn’t believe my own eyes. I quickly paid for the tickets (you have to secure the tickets within one hour of being notified of winning) and knew in my heart what the right thing to do was. I gave the tickets to my parents. They were so touched and I have to say, excited like little kids leading up to the show and after; they absolutely loved it! But seriously, I should get the Daughter of the Year award right?!?! #daughteroftheyear. Moral of the story: keep playing that damn lottery. I’m hoping my luck didn’t run out because I still want to see Hamilton from the front row with my friend Alisa!

 

Please Note: While I was provided tickets to Luzia and Spamilton, all opinions are my own.

Who Is Keeping Track?

If you’ve been following along on my adventures, you know by now that I love my indoor cycling and yoga classes. I’ve finally found forms of exercise that I enjoy and have been sticking to on a weekly basis for the past several years. It’s nice to have found my groove!

I’ve tried various activity trackers in the past, but have found them not so cute on the fashion front. I’m a person who likes to wear jewelry, so those black, rubber-like bands just didn’t cut it for me. I’ve found an awesome new smart tracker called WiseWear that keeps those stats most of us like to keep track of, but is also available as a beautiful bracelet.

WiseWear

WiseWear

WiseWear Bracelet

WiseWear Bracelet

This smart bracelet not only tracks your activity like steps, calories burned, distance, active time, etc., you can also receive mobile notifications from your phone. But, the one thing that truly sets this smart bracelet apart from the others is the distress function. You can alert your emergency contacts with just three taps to the blue-tooth connected bracelet. I have not seen that feature before, and I can truly appreciate it being a female that lives in a large city. I would hope no one ever needs to use that function, but how genius to have that capability built right into this bracelet.

WiseWear Bracelet - Duchess Gold

WiseWear Bracelet – Duchess Gold

I’ve really enjoyed wearing my bracelet and it goes perfectly with my outfits without looking clunky or cheap. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it just as a bracelet. Little do people know all of its awesome capabilities until I tell them about it! I can definitely see wearing WiseWear as I travel to stay fashionable and keep tabs on my activity as I explore a new place. Are you keeping track?

WiseWear Everyday Living

WiseWear Everyday Living

 

Please Note: While I was provided with the WiseWear bracelet, all opinions are my own.

How To Be A Dinner Hero

As a busy professional and/or if you are raising a family, there is always one question that lingers in the back of your mind on a daily basis; what’s for dinner? I’ve recently come across one awesome option that I know will help you out in the dinner department; it’s called Dinner Hero.

Imagine a cooking kit that will feed 4 people in 30 minutes while providing a nutritious, wholesome meal that’s absolutely delicious. The kit comes complete with a grain (think quinoa, brown rice, cous cous, etc.) and a custom spice blend for the sauce where all you need to do is add water. Chose your protein and pair with a veggie and you are looking at one fantastic dinner. The best part is that these kits are non-GMO and have no artificial colors or flavorings.

All Four Dinner Hero Kit Options

All Four Dinner Hero Kit Options

What I find so useful about these kits is that I might have some tofu and broccoli on hand, but have no idea what to do with them to bring it together for a quick, healthy meal. Now I’ll be able to use the coconut curry Dinner Hero kit (my absolute favorite out of all the options) and I’ll be able to whip up dinner and either invite some friends over or have some yummy leftovers for lunch for the week. That’s called winning in my book.

My Favorite Coconut Curry

My Favorite Coconut Curry

I was introduced to Dinner Hero at a lovely event where Chef Katie Simmons prepared each of the four different kits in creative and unique ways. Here are a few pictures from the event just to show you some of the many possibilities:

Sesame Garlic Dinner Hero Kit In Lettuce Cups

Sesame Garlic Dinner Hero Kit In Lettuce Cups

Roasted Corn, Avocado and Radish Side Salad

Roasted Corn, Avocado and Radish Side Salad

Smoky Tomato Dinner Hero Kit With Roasted Asparagus

Smoky Tomato Dinner Hero Kit With Roasted Asparagus

Trust me, you can’t go wrong with these kits. Better yet, they are easy enough to quickly prepare on your own or even have your kids help. You’ll have no excuse now not to be a dinner hero….me either!

 

Please Note: This post is in partnership with Revolution Foods. All opinions are my own.

What A Great Day!

I’d like to say the stars must have aligned on this particular day because it truly turned out to be a special one.

The first exciting thing that happened was getting to experience Arun’s Thai, a fine-dining restaurant here in Chicago that has literally been on my bucket list for over 15 years (crazy, I know). I’ve always wanted to save the experience of Arun’s Thai for a special occasion, but for one reason or another, it just had not happened yet. I was so incredibly lucky to be invited to dine at Arun’s Thai and I no joke read the email like 12 times because I could not believe my eyes. Seriously, a dream come true!

Arun’s Thai is definitely some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had along with some of the coolest and most artistically presented dishes I’ve ever seen. The details and sheer creativity were on a level I have never encountered before, and for that, I am still in awe. What I also absolutely loved about our meal service was how accommodating the chef and staff were to me being vegetarian. All of my dishes were plated exactly the same as the meat-eaters and it was nice to feel inclusive of the meal where my vegetarian dishes didn’t always look different from the rest of the table.

I’m sharing a few pictures of the gorgeous and delicious dinner I had so you can get an idea of what might be in store when you go (the menu changes daily based on seasonality, chef’s choice and obviously accommodating any dietary restrictions):

Even The Non-Alcohoic Drinks Are Stunning

Even The Non-Alcohoic Drinks Are Stunning

Amazing Appetizers

Amazing Appetizers

Arun's Thai Vegetarian Panang Curry

Arun’s Thai Vegetarian Panang Curry

What Looks Like Nemo Is Created From A Carrot

What Looks Like Nemo Is Created From A Carrot

Thai Inspired Sangria

Thai Inspired Sangria

Mango Sticky Rice With Hand Painted Koi Fish

Mango Sticky Rice With Hand Painted Koi Fish

The other cool thing on this day was I officially hit 10,000 followers on my Instagram account. A fun milestone that reminds me to keep enjoying the ride and all the great people and experiences that have come from this social media platform. Thanks for your continued support and following along on my journey.

 

Please Note: While I was invited to dine at Arun’s Thai, all opinions are my own.

It’s All About The Journey

I’d say my fitness journey throughout my life has been sort of wax-on, wax-off. There were times when I was really dedicated and into a great groove, and then I would have those times that I just could not motivate myself. I know most people go through this.

The thing I’ve come to learn about exercise is that it truly is a journey; there’s not really a destination per se. It’s about constantly evolving and pushing yourself outside your own boundaries and limits, but also having fun and finding enjoyment in what you are doing.

For me, in order to stick to something rather than it being the next exercise fad I abandon (hello Insanity), finding a supportive community and like-minded individuals who encourage me along my own personal fitness path is exactly what I need to stay motivated and accountable. And, let’s be honest, I need to find something close to my home because if it’s too far, I’m just not going to go. I’m happy to report that I’ve found the perfect place. It’s called Studio Three.

Studio Three Chicago

Studio Three Chicago

Studio Three is a beautiful, boutique fitness destination in the heart of River North in Chicago. There are three levels, where each floor is a dedicated space for yoga, cycling or interval training. What I absolutely love is that I can mix up my workouts and be trained by the most elite fitness instructors in Chicago. It’s called #winning in my book.

Interval Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Interval Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Peloton Cycling Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Peloton Cycling Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Yoga Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Yoga Studio photo credit: Studio Three

Studio Three Class Options

Studio Three Class Options

Inside Studio Three

Inside Studio Three

Not only that, Studio Three has the best service I have ever experienced at a fitness studio. For example, there is a staff member present in the cycling studio throughout the entire class for any potential issues you may have; you grabbed the wrong weights for the arm workout segment, you accidentally drop your towel on the floor mid class, you can’t clip out of your bike at the end of class (ahem, I may or may not be speaking from experience on these).

I could go on and on about all the ways I love Studio Three, but honestly, the most important for me is that I absolutely love the great network of people it has brought into my life. I have made so many new friends who I see regularly at classes, I’m always encouraging anyone that will listen to come join me at a class and I’ve also become great friends with many of the instructors and staff members at Studio Three. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

Studio Three Instructors photo credit: Studio Three

Studio Three Instructors photo credit: Studio Three

Peloton Cycling With Friends

Peloton Cycling With Friends

Yoga Class At Studio Three

Yoga Class At Studio Three

And just so you know, I’ve been going consistently at least a few times every week since Studio Three opened in November of 2015. No fad exercise regimen here; dedication at its best. I heart you Studio Three.

 

Please Note: This post is in partnership with Studio Three. All opinions are my own.