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Like a Kid Again

13 Feb

Last weekend, my brother came down to stay with us. He was in town for a conference and we were lucky enough to have him visit for a few days. Although Shane had to attend his conference on Friday and Saturday, we were able to spend a good amount of time visiting, chatting, and just relaxing.

On Thursday, we whipped up some of my becoming-famous Mexi-burgers (recipe to come). The boys gave them two thumbs up, which is a wild success considering they are lean turkey burgers.

I also won them over with my Sweet Chocolate Secret Cupcakes (SCSCs). Another recipe for another day…and yes, these were healthy too! Shaner even ate one as part of his breakfast on Saturday.


It was so awesome to have him come and hang out. I adore my siblings and love every minute I get to spend with them.

Shane got on the road Sunday afternoon to head back home to his wifey (they just celebrated their one month anniversary. Yay!).

Phil didn’t have any homework so we were trying to decide what to do with our day when I got a wicked-good idea; office makeover time! We’ve been planning away and last week I selected the paint color and furniture. So, we decided to tackle the project.

office2 office1

Hot mess…..

I went and picked up the paint while Phil cleaned and emptied out the room. He started painting and I headed out to run errands. Two hours later, I finally was home with a big haul. groceries

And the room was done! I’m in love.


Since I was feeling nostalgic, I made some homemade chicken fingers and roasted asparagus for dinner that we enjoyed during the Grammys.veggies chicken fingers

It was a great weekend with lots of fun, relaxing and exciting projects!


Girls Wine Weekend – Part 2

8 Feb

Back to where we left off.


After the wine tour, we jumped back into our van and headed to our house.

I have to say, if you are going to do a wine tour, I highly recommend booking a driver. We hired a driver for both Katie’s bachelorette party and the wine weekend. With all of the vino, it is better to be safe.

Not to mention, after each winery, we hopped in the car and let Chris lead the way. He had a list of wineries so he did the driving while we gabbed, hydrated and sang karaoke.



When we arrived, our girlfriend Katie A was waiting for us! She was planning to join us on the tour but had to cancel last minute. Once we were inside and our hands were holding more spirits, she shared with us the news that she is expecting!! Well that explains why she missed the wine tour! (And is really the only acceptable answer.)


We ordered in and gabbed into the wee hours yet again.



Seriously, is there anything better than time with amazing women? I think not.

Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye Sunday morning following coffee chat. Despite being together for two days, we gabbed until the last second together.


My sister had a few hours before her flight, so we met up with my brother, SIL Nichole and dad for lunch. It was so wonderful to relax and visit with the family. The last time we were together was for the big wedding!

We had to wrap up and I drove Linds to the airport. It was sad to say good-bye to my favorite lady, but I am planning to visit her in Chicago soon!

After the airport, I headed over to my brother and Nichole’s place. I decided to stay up north for another day and spend time visiting with the newly weds. Life has been crazy busy and I felt like it had been a long time since we were able to have a good chat. We spent the night gabbing, watching the commercials during the Superbowl (priorities) and was treated to some yummy taco salads.

It was a great decision to stay for an extra day. But, it was time to head back on Monday afternoon.

Wine weekends for the win! Already looking forward to the next.

Have you ever been on a wine tour?




The Long Weekend Round Up

24 Jan

I know it is later in the week, but this girl had Monday off for MLK day and life has been busy so lets go with it.

We had originally planned for visitors, but had a last-minute change so Phil and had a wide-open weekend.

Highlights include:

  • gymin’ every day
  • naps
  • reading
  • hitting up a new restaurant in town with our good friends
  • girl talk
  • two-hour yoga sesh
  • house cleaning

But the real highlight was Phil waking me up from a two-hr nap and asking me to dinner and a movie. If you don’t know me well, this is one of my favorite things to do. I adore ‘going to the show’. Phil is okay on it, so we usually go way less than I would like to. Any time Phil is game, I practically race out the door. And this flick was extra special, we finally saw Les Mis.


Oh, My. Gosh. I loved the singing, the love story, the clothes, the colors – le sigh.

Did I mention that I skated to Les Mis my senior year of high school? I will spare you the video, but I have a special place in my heart for this soundtrack. And add-on our trip to Paris last year and my love of musicals — I was a gonner.

I sang the whole way home. 🙂

What was the best part of your weekend?



Weekend Roundup

14 Jan

Ah, here we go again. Another week.

I am not going to sugar coat it, I want this week to be over. STAT. It is my last full week of work in January and I am ready for my long weekend that’s awaiting me come 5pm Friday.

Since I am struggling to get going, lets chat about the weekend. OK, cool.

Friday night was date night with my guy. We hung out, enjoyed some good eats and a flick – a nice end to the week for sure. On Saturday, I worked to put away the Christmas decorations. I have slowly been collecting the decor from around the house into a pile in the front room. This weekend, I pulled out the storage containers and packed everything away. Phil also climbed on the roof and took down the outside lights.


We had beautiful weather this weekend. We’re talking 50-60 degrees in Michigan. While the sun struggled to peak through, one could not deny the temps, so Henry and I headed out for a nice long walk after my afternoon workout. Phil had a lot of studying to do, so we took our sweet time and enjoyed the fresh air.

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Unfortunately, the mud and Henry’s white coat didn’t mix all that well. Boys. 😉

Once Phil finished his studying for the day, we took off to a few places; we’re on the hunt for new office furniture. The office is my next make-over and I am muy excited. I’m still a bit torn on the wall color, but have a good idea of the vision for the room.

Sunday started with coffee talk (aka, chats over hot mugs of coffee) at Panera. We hit up the grocery store and then made our way home for a big breakfast.

Although I wanted to stay on the couch zoning out, I had plans so I had to get moving. Two of my girlfriends and I took a workshop at our gym; Yoga for Runners and Cyclists.

The class focused on the need to balance our bodies and pay extra attention to our muscles and joints that are impacted by other sports. Following the discussion, we had a one hour yoga class. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and I hope to write a post around the class – it was really interesting!

I spent the night enjoying turkey tacos and the Golden Globes. Did you watch? I thought the show was very entertaining and really loved Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, they were hilarious.


Alright, time to take on the week.

It may be Monday, but that also means my favorite yoga class, the Biggest Loser and the Bachelor! Whoo hoo!

What are you looking forward to this Monday? Did you watch the Golden Globes?

Hope you’re all having a great one.



Aside 2 Jan

Don’t you love weekends that leave you feeling refreshed? More times than not, this feeling comes from a lazy Sunday morning sans alarm, big breakfasts, lounging, maybe some shopping. But, other times, I feel reenergized after a much needed reunion with some of my favorites.

This past weekend was the wedding of one of my long-time friends, which meant good times were bound to happen.

After a late evening Thursday, lunch with the ladies and an evening walk we all turned in for a solid night sleep.

Saturday brought lots of sunshine, so the Dilloway ladies headed to the Farmer’s Market. (The guys tried for another go at golfing.)

I love going to the Market up north- there is so much fresh produce, meats and flowers due to the proximity to the water (we are the cherry capital after all!).


The wedding took place at 2pm and to say it was one of the most beautiful weddings would not do it justice. Katie was absolutely stunning – I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional. Especially since the wedding day was just a few days before Phil and my anniversary (3 yrs tomorrow) – I remember getting ready, taking my dad’s arm and walking down the aisle. Seems like yesterday.

After the ceremony, a group of us went to the new brewery in town.IMG_8055IMG_8057IMG_8059IMG_8060IMG_8062

Around 5pm, we headed to the Grand Traverse Resort for cocktail hour and reception. The festivities were held on the grounds in a beautiful tent that was decorated head to toe in black and white with pops of red (her colors). The food, view and company were perfection.


We finished our apps and headed in for the speeches. Claire, Katie’s sister and Lindsay’s best friend, was the Matron of Honor and gave a beautiful speech that brought us all to tears.


We started with Traverse City salads and rolls. For our main course, I went with the filet, which was out of this world. It was paired with asparagus and mushroom risotto that was hands down the best I have ever tasted.

And then, it was time to celebrate!!


We had the best time – maybe a little too much fun Winking smile I certainly laughed more than I have in a long time and have so many memories to cherish.

Congratulations to the new couple!




A Change of Plans and Birthday Celebrations

26 Dec

Winter is here!!




I was just finishing a few errands this morning when the snow began. And then it picked up quite a bit! In the past two hours our view is much like the inside of a snow globe.

Unfortunately, we had plans to be on the road today and we need to postpone our travels until tomorrow morning. I’m sure we could have made it, but it would have taken a long time and been very stressful. So we are enjoying an unexpected, quiet night in.

While it may be quiet around here now, we’ve been quite busy the past few days. On Friday night we went out with two of our best friends to celebrate their back-to-back birthdays!

John and Cathy came over for a pee drink and then we headed down to Fishbones in downtown Detroit. This restaurant is one of my absolute favorite places in Detroit so I was super excited for dinner.

We stated the dinner with lots of wine and thought, when in Rome!


Once again it was a wonderful meal!

Next we hit up MGM Casino. Cathy is friends with one of the bartenders who helped us celebrate. Have you heard of a Stoplight shot?



The boys were lucky at blackjack while we stuck to the slots.


We finally called it a night at 4am with pancakes. Awesome night.

Saturday started at noon. I knocked out a long run and some grocery shopping before coming home for dinner. Well, it was probably closer to lunch given the time we woke up 😉 Phil went to the Lions game while I wrapped up Christmas shopping and wrapping. A nice quiet night.

On Sunday, I started with a Pilates class, which left my abs screaming. Phil and I celebrated our Christmas and dinner together. It was such a fun weekend. I laughed harder than I have in a long time and soaked in all of my loved ones.

Christmas #2 recap coming up next. Until then, everyone stay safe and warm!!



Slowing Down for the Good Stuff

5 Dec

Oh where has the time gone? I feel like just yesterday I was in CA and now I am days deep into the week. Sorry for neglecting you – I love you, don’t leave me.

Life has been beyond busy lately; three trips to the west coast in six weeks. Nine days of work before one day off and then back to it. Holidays. Weddings. Phil taking on his final exams. B.U.S.Y.

I think it is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the season, which can be fun. But, I also feel like so much goes unnoticed – the sweet, quiet, small moments that are often the most powerful and impactful.

Case and point. I spent the weekend in CA for work, and work I did. Lots of long hours.

But, despite my jet lag, I decided to push my nap aside for a dinner date with my Aunt who lives in San Diego. I didn’t take pictures. I enjoyed her welcoming hug, our chats while we strolled through Old Town looking at all of the local art displays and taking in the whiffs of authentic Mexican dishes hitting the tables. We sipped margaritas and wine over a lovely dinner by a warm fire. The night was relaxing and I remember the scents and the flavors of the food. No pictures necessary.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to hit up the gym before my flight home. I was about to get dressed when I stopped dead in my tracks. What was I doing? Working out is important but is also an activity I can do any day. Watching the sunrise over the ocean is not.

I quickly got dressed, grabbed a coffee and drove to the coast. I spent the morning breathing in the fresh air, sitting with my thoughts and visiting with some friends.


Let me be clear, I am not great at taking my own advice. However, I am challenging myself and others to slow down and see the beauty in the present. Maybe I didn’t burn my calories off, but I took care of myself in a different way that is often overlooked.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week.




Back to Califonia

30 Nov

Happy December 1st and greetings from the West Coast!

I spent Friday morning traveling out to CA for a work event. (Ps, early morning flights are only a goo idea when you’re booking. Not in reality.)

I arrived at 1pm 10am CA time and had some time to kill before my room was ready at my hotel. My aunt is a long time resident of San Diego and I have visited quite a bit leaving me very comfortable navigating the city.

By time I got my bag and car my stomach ws SCREAMING for lunch. I headed a few miles down the road to a shopping mall I’ve been to before. Luckily there were lot of choices so I plopped down for some eats and work. Plus I was able to do a little window shopping.



I love the ice skating rinks that are all over the city.

After my hunger pains subsided, I got my bearings and realized I was only a few miles from the island of Coranado. I’ve visited plenty of times in the past, but the island, Hotel Del and the ocean never gets old.

I parked a few blocks out so I could get some walking and sightseeing in. The hotel was everything I remembered.


And the Ocean, well, what can I say.



Only in California do you find sandcastles for the holidays.

I had a 20 minute drive north to my hotel, so I jumped on the expressway, checked in and got back to reality (aka work). But my poor body was all out of wack and I ended up napping for a few minutes but not long enough.

I had a work event so I scrambled to get ready and made my way to the event. It was a struggle to stay awake, I’m not going to lie.

It was an early (?) night. I have another big and FULL day ahead of me today so I needed the zzzs.

Plan for today; hit the gym, attend TedX San Diego and hopefully hang out with my aunt. Hope you all have a great Saturday!



The Holidays are Here

19 Nov

This past weekend was an absolute whirlwind in the best kind of way. It was jam-packed with friends, food and fun.

The weekend started on Thursday when work closed out. Despite my Debbie Downer attitude, I had some plans with my ladies for a birthday dinner and then Twilight! My best friend hosted the dinner at her house. I was greeted by some decorations, a warm welcome and lots of apps for snacking.

The girls rolled in and I was surprised with dinner – a salad bar with all of my favorite fixings! Now, if you don’t know me, this might sound strange. However, I am a veggie and thus salad lover and was so touched that my friends were so thoughtful  in putting this spread together. We enjoyed our salads, wine and laughs followed by gifts and finally some cupcakes and birthday song.

Around 10:30, we gathered ourselves and headed to the theatre for the premiere of Twilight. Oh my gosh you guys, this movie was actually good. Now, I understand that comment is in comparison to the other movies in the series, but really, it was suspenseful and intense. I loved it!

I made it home around 2am and crashed on a complete birthday-high.


Friday was a work holiday, so I slept in a bit and then headed to the gym for my Tone It Up workout.

Kicked my bootay!

That night was my work holiday party. I work with some great people and Phil and I had a blast chatting with my coworkers.

We stayed out late and again, crashed just before the 2am hour.


I was up and at ’em because I had some exciting plans to meet up with my girlfriend/ bride-to-be to do some dress shopping in Lansing. I met up with the bridesmaids, Cathy (BTB) and her mom for a morning filled with dresses for all the ladies. We tried on a lot of different options and I think we landed on a good one! Cathy also tried on some dresses and she was stunning. Sorry, no pictures to share – everything is top-secret!! 🙂

We headed out to lunch and then I started my trip home. Lansing is just over an hour away, so I had a few hours to spare before our evening plans, so I headed to the gym. Nothing like planning ahead! Unfortunately, I was pretty beat, so it was a so-so showing, but I went. Kudos to me for the effort.

After, I went home to shower up and grab Phil for our dinner plans. We headed over to my coworker’s house and then out to dinner at a new-to-us spot, Tony Saccos. they have a coal-burning oven that cooks the pizza in no time and specialize in thin-crust with fresh ingredients. Phil and I ordered the vegetarian and loved every bite.

The dinner and company were wonderful. But, despite our best efforts, were pretty pooped from the past few days and called it a relatively early night (11pm is like 8 when you are used to 2am!).


Oh beautiful Sunday. I turned off all of my alarms, we enjoyed a slow morning with a pot of coffee and eggs.

Phil and I pulled out our cookbooks, coupons and started a list for Thanksgiving dinner. We are cooking the whole meal for the first time and I am really looking forward to it!

We spent the late morning at the store and it was a complete success. I am completely ready for turkey day!

The rest of the day was spent mowing the lawn, cleaning, reading and cooking up a home-cooked meal. It was a much-needed quiet end to the weekend.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Are you a thin, thick or deep dish pizza lover?

I like them all, it just depends what mood I am in. 🙂




On Top of the World

5 Nov

Happy Monday all!

I am loving today because I am still on vacation – extended weekend for the win! But lets back up to this past weekend because it was amaz-hing.


On Friday, Phil and I hit the road for Chicago. We were so ready for a vacation and decided that Chicago met all of our criteria; within driving distance and lots of fun things to do! Despite some traffic that tried to slow us down, we made it into the city and bee-lined it to Bucktown pub to meet up with my sister and her husband who were out on the town. We had such a great time hanging with them. Like, why do these people not live closer to us so we can be BFFs all the time, fun. 🙂


Friday night was a late one, and adding on the hour time difference, I think I saw my usual wake-up call time. ::Rock-stars::

I woke up without an alarm and I knew right then and there we were going to have a great weekend. Seriously, I love waking up on my own and even better? Waking up without a to-do list. Let me do my happy dance.

OK, I’m back.

I hit up the gym, we took our times munching on breakfast (around lunch time), sipping coffee and finally rolling out to the cool, crisp air of the city. The weather was nothing short of a perfect November day; mid-fourties, sunny and no wind. I was able to rock my cutie boots and jacket, but not be bundled like a marshmallow. Perfection.

We spent the afternoon on the Mag Mile. You don’t need details, we could be here all day. But, it was glorious.

Around 6pm we hit up the mini mart for some adult beverages – time to get this party started! Phil made reservations for us at a very special location at 9pm, so we spent an hour resting and then got ready for an exciting and special night. The John Hancock building is a landmark in Chicago and houses the Signature Room; a fabulous restaurant on the 95th floor. Yes, you are almost on top of the world, while enjoying an amazing meal. And lucky me, I had the best date to share the night with.

After the trip to the top, we were seated next to the window and spent plenty of time enjoying the view. It never got old.

We moved on to some wine and apps, and our meals.

The meal ended with a special pumpkin mini-cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

I cannot think of any better way to ring in the big 3-0. I felt so special; sitting on top of the city with my husband it was an awesome, awesome surprise.


Sunday started much like Saturday (workout, lazy eats and coffee). We gathered up our stuff and headed over to visit with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. It was again a perfect day, so we loaded up the peanut and headed out to a late lunch in their neighborhood. I have always heard of Smoke Daddy (my family raves about it), but Phil and I have never been. Well, Sunday was the day.

The food was so good, but even better were their bbq sauces. Wow! The mustard bbq was so, so good and totally unique. I’m kicking myself for not bringing some home.

Someone loved the mac and cheese!

I’m so glad we were able to go over to their place and visit for a few hours before heading back home.

I cannot say enough good things about this past weekend. It was wonderful start to finish.

Hope you all had a great one, too!