Last Day in Chi-Town

Today was my last day in Chicago!  The morning started off with a Fun Run Walk along the lakefront.  Many of the attendees set out on 10K or 5K runs, but there were many of us in the walking group. 

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After the walk, we headed to breakfast, which was sponsored by Thomas’ bagel thins.  Part of the breakfast was a create-your-own cream cheese contest.  We had our very own chefs on hand to do all the grunt work:

Here’s what went in to my combo:

  • Reduced fat cream cheese
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Onions!
  • Jalapenos
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Pinch ‘o salt

The goods:

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I was really graving protein at breakfast, so I thought I’d make a little breakfast sandwich out of my bagel thin and veggie cream cheese.  I loaded my bagel with the veggie cream cheese:

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Then I sliced my two turkey sausage links in half length-wise, and piled them on the bagel:

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All I needed was a little hot sauce 😉

After breakfast, I headed back to the hotel room to get my pack on.  We got SO many freebies this weekend, I can’t believe I was able to cram it all back in the suitcase! 

My roommate, Haya, and I headed to Trader Joe’s where I picked up a new Luna Bar flavor and some Quinoa.  Cannot wait to experiment with the Quinoa (which I had for the first time at Saturday’s lunch).

After the TJ’s excursion, a group of us gathered together to head to Giordano’s for some Chicago pizza (FINALLY!).

First up, I had a jumbo side salad (my body is literally in vegetable withdrawal) and some garlic bread: DSCF2272

Stuffed pizza:

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YUM.  Any time I go to a new city, I like to try out the foods the area is known for.  While Pittsburgh’s Primanti sandwiches, South Carolina Shrimp & Grits, or Chicago style pizza may not be my #1 choice they are definitely tasty and REQUIRED food stops! 

Besides, pizza definitely makes for happy bloggers:

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(Erin @ a Girl and Her Mutt)

Overall, the HLS was a really interesting experience.  I went into the weekend expecting to get the most value out of the Saturday Seminars, but it turns out my favorite parts of the weekend were hanging with bloggers and getting to know each of their stories behind the blog.  I met a few bloggers whose sites I’ve been following for some time, made many new friends, and had my first first-person exposure to this crazy food blogging community that I’m a part of! 

What surprised me most about this weekend was the mental list I began gathering of things I don’t want to be and things I want to work on or change in my life  Odd, right?  Over the course of the weekend, I told dozens and dozens of women my story:  who I am, what I do on a daily basis, why I blog, etc.  I think that sort of self reflection is a good challenge for us all.  It forces us to internally take a step back and determine whether or not we’re happy with our own story.

In the time-management session, Sarah asked us to write down our list of priorities in life.  I stumbled on this task.  At first I wrote nothing on my list.  Then, whether for fear of admitting the truth to myself or for fear of someone else seeing my true list, I wrote what I thought my list should be.  I internally compared my “ideal” list of priorities to my true list, and I was bothered by the blatant discrepancies between the two.  Time is a finite resource (thank you, Sarah!), and I want to work on using mine in ways that match my ideal priorities in life!

All-in-all a terrific weekend, full of terrific women, and terrific food!

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(thank you Sarha @ theSHUbox for the photo!)

(thank you Jennifer @ RunningWithCake for the photo!)

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8 Comments

  1. I love your recap of HLS! I’m planning on going to FitBloggin’ in May – the hubby gave the final word of “okay” last night 🙂

    I know you are in CAK – I’m in CLE! We’re having a blogger get together at the end of the month. I’m going to send you the Evite. Maybe you can join us? 🙂

  2. awww it looks like you had tons of fun! i am going to try to attend this next year. thanks for filling us in on your weekend plans! you look great!!!!

  3. I love the idea of a make your own cream cheese – and YOURS looks like the one I’d like best out of all I’ve seen… YUM veggies !!

    can’t wait until next year… I’ve told everyone in my life, no weddings, birthdays, events of ANY kind !! 🙂

  4. I’m sorry again for bailin gon the noon pizza. 🙁 But even pizza at 11:30 ended up having us cut it close!

    Let me know when you start selling your shirts. 😉

  5. Pingback: Quinoa!