8 Things I Learned on an 8-Mile Hike

This past week I’ve been in Hoffman Estates dog-sitting Bronson.  The weather has been ABSOLUTELY gorgeous and it feels like summer.  I love it.  Right near my sister and brother-in-law’s place is a forest preserve and every time I drive by it I think, “I should take Bronson over there and go for a walk.”

Well, on Saturday Adam came out here and we decided a hike in the forest preserve would be a great way to spend the day.  It was beautiful, sunny, and Bronson was ready to go.

Continue reading

Easter Sunday Best

Hello and happy Monday!  I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and if you celebrate Easter I hope you had a hoppy…. I mean happy one!

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

Please ignore my horrendous growing-out-my-pixie hair! We clean up pretty good

My weekend was a little busier than usual because I’m actually coming to you from Sycamore right now.  I’m house/dog-sitting and get to romp about in my old town and enjoy the slow pace of “country” life.  In case you were wondering, the minute you move to any big city like Chicago every other town becomes “country”.  Yes, it’s snobby and pretentious but what did you expect from city-folk?

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

My sister always looks like this as she sets the table


Mom & D actually setting the table

I actually love coming out here not just because I get to cuddle and hang out with an awesome golden retriever but I get to take food pictures in natural light!  There are like a gajillion windows here and when you’re used to two interior facing windows that maybe get 2 hours of sunlight a day, you revel in the natural light goodness.  Expect beautiful food pics in the near future.

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

Cooking up the sweet potato hash

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

D cutting up the Easter ham

Speaking of food, my family had some good stuff at Easter brunch.  My sister made this awesome quinoa/broccoli/cranberry/candied walnut salad that I could have eaten until my stomach burst. I need to replicate it like immediately.  I made my sweet potato hash because everyone really liked it at Christmas plus it’s a good dish to feed a crowd.  I also tested out some muffins on everyone and the feedback was pretty good so you should see those soon.  There was also fruit, Irish soda bread, ham, hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, pasta salad, and mimosas.  I don’t think anyone went hungry….

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

Jodie excited about the ham…

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

Me excited/terrifying about Easter

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

And Andy just excited about food

Overall, it was a great weekend and I’m glad that I got to spend time with my family.  Now I’m looking forward to some good blog work and more spring-like weather!

Easter Sunday Best | Life Healthfully Lived

Happy Easter from the Buchanans/Bullards/Dawsons/Meyers!

How about you guys?  What did you eat for Easter?

Weekend Fun and “Country” Livin

Whew!  What a difference a good night’s sleep makes!  Monday I felt like I was a zombie.  I told Adam that it felt like I had never adulted before.  Yup, grammar went out the window after running on like 5 hours of sleep.  But it was such a good weekend that lack of sleep was quite alright.  Let’s get to this past weekend shall we?

Adam’s mom and stepdad came into Chicago for the weekend.  They hadn’t seen our apartment yet and they wanted to spend some time with us in the city.  On Saturday we met them downtown and took them to the Maggie Daley Park and Millenium Park so they could see the bean.

We then walked down to Columbia College to look at a photography exhibit featuring photos from local high school students.  I love looking at photography mostly because I wish I could take pictures as well as some of those artists!  I’ll just keep practicing.  We then hopped on the red line for a quick trip to Chinatown so Adam’s mom could get some green tea.

Then we took them to Eataly.  I love Eataly and like taking people there so they can see the awesomeness.  If you don’t know what Eataly is, then come to Chicago and I will take you there!  It is a store/grocery store/restaurants/gelato/beer/nutella bar that was started by an Italian business man, Oscar Farinetti, and is more popularly owned in New York by chef Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  It’s kind of like a grocery store with tasting tables.  Each part of the store is broken up into sections like cheese, meat, fish, pasta, bread, etc.  At each spot you can by those things but also order food to eat from those sections.  After walking around the boys got some sandwiches and declared them the best turkey sandwiches they had eaten.  Eataly was definitely a hit because food is awesome.

We then headed over to Old Town because we were going to a show at Second City and we wanted to take them to our spice shop before hand.  The Spice House is another place that I love and I have talked about them before.  We heard about them a few years ago on Alton Brown’s podcast and that is now where I go to get the majority of our spices.  Karyn had a hard time picking out which spices she wanted to buy but managed to find a handful she wanted, and now I get to bring her both fresh bread from Eataly and spices when I go visit!


After a brief rest at Starbucks we headed to the theater and saw the Best of Second City.  It was a great show and this improv troupe were on top of their game.  Anyone who can write a jazz song about a stethoscope on the fly gets major points in my book.  After the show we went to the Italian restaurant, Topo Gigio, for dinner.  Again the food won the day and everyone loved their meals. I had a really good salad with walnuts, raisins, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  It was drizzled lightly with olive oil and was delightful.  After dinner everyone went home to rest after our big day.


A rare picture where I look like a weirdo and Adam is normal.  Ok not so rare.

A rare picture where I look like a weirdo and Adam is normal. Ok not so rare.

Sunday we took them to one of our favorite local breakfast places, Ann Sathers Bakery.  Surprise, surprise they loved it.  It really is true, people who like food are the best people.  Later that day Adam and the rest of them were going to go see Blue Man Group, but I was off to Sycamore.

My view for the next few weeks

My view for the next few weeks

That’s right, I’m coming to you from our former home town these next few weeks.  I’m currently house/dog sitting for the family I used to nanny for while they are on vacation.  It’s kind of nice being back out here and going to all the places I used to go when we lived here.  Plus I get to play in a HUGE kitchen and I get to use their Vitamix.

My buddy here in Sycamore

My buddy here in Sycamore

Yes people, I get to pretend I have a fancy high powered blender for the next two weeks.  It really doesn’t take much to get me excited.  Just a $500 blender.

Do you see the clouds parting and hear the angels singing?  I do.

Do you see the clouds parting and hear the angels singing? I do.

So that was my weekend.  It was fun and awesome and I’m glad I’m back into a semi normal routine!  I will be bringing you some awesome new spring recipes plus whatever I decide to blend in the Vitamix, which let’s be real is going to be everything.

Have a great Wednesday and I’ll see you Friday!