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26 years 364 days

Well this is it. The final day of my twenty-sixth year. September 5, 2012. I am officially 26 years 364 days old.

When I started this blog one year ago, I had no idea what I was doing but I did know I’d enjoy the ride. Last night I went through all my old posts and realized: mission accomplished!

Twenty-six was full of fabulousness — I have 20/15 vision, Baby Mikayla was born, I got my queen-sized bed, Lin & I have eaten very well, I’ve traveled more than I realized, I’ve loved every girls weekend, I’ve learned a ton and I’ve really grown as a person. A perfect journal of my 26th year.

The big changes are the scary ones.

The end of my twenty-sixth year was the start of change. Big change. I decided to focus on my career and I recently quit Groupon. Scary — leaving my friends, my comfort zone to explore what I can do leveraging my skill set to make a difference.

The start of my twenty-seventh year will continue this trend of change. I start my new job, my dream job next Monday. I will be a Marketing Specialist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America – Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois. I’m bringing my car to Chicago. I’m moving — in Chicago or out of Chicago — something that I haven’t really wrapped my head around yet.

As I figure out my life, I can breathe because I’m certain that everything will work out and I really do have so much to smile about.

Here’s to my 27th year!

Friday Chi Faves: Sailing

This is my fifth Chicago summer. This was my first sailing experience. LOVE.

Lin’s friend Bill is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club and was kind enough to invite Lin, Meg and I along to see the start of the Race to Mackinac. It’s a sailing race from Chicago to Mackinac Island — and it’s a BIG deal. With more than 350 participants, it is the longest annual freshwater sailing race in the world. It was super impressive.

Bill and his yachting buddies were the most gracious hosts and the boat we were on was ridiculously nice. The overall experience makes me think about learning how to sail … but then again, it was nice to relax while our yachting experts did the actual work ha!

While we did not race, we thoroughly enjoyed our spectator experience. We learned a lot of new words — for instance, the bow is the front of the boat, met some awesome people, swam in Lake Michigan for the first time ever (so refreshing!) and spent the better part of the day relaxing, laying out and chatting on the bow.

It was basically summer perfection … and I am on board with that!

Tuesday #top5 Packing List

Sunday = Jamaica!! Petersen Family Vacation 2012 sans my bro.

I literally am beyond excited at this point. Being the planner that I am, I’ve already started my packing list for my week of relaxation, sun and time spent with my parents. Here are the #top5 items on my packing list:

(1) Swim Suit — duh. My #1 outfit of choice in Jamaica will be a swimsuit. Soaking up that sun!!

[Victoria's Secret Swim top + bottom, $42]

(2) Cover-up — en route to and from the beach in style … need to have a comfortable and stylish look!

[Victoria's Secret, $34.50; Target, $17.99]

(3) Summer Hat — I feel as though my time spent in the sun will require protection above and beyond sunscreen. The answer? A hat!!

[J.Crew Summer Straw Hat, $34.50]

(4) Sunglasses — since LASIK I rarely go outside with eye protection. Sunglasses are a must.

[Ray-Ban RB3362 004/N1 COCKPIT, $150]

(5) Maxi Dress — for lounging or for dinner, a maxi dress is perfect vacation evening wear. Relaxing and comfortable yet stylish and sexy. This is my most recent fave:

[No longer available, similar here Gap, $50-70]

Anything I’m missing? Any recommendations for my packing list or to do list in Jamaica? All ideas are welcome!

I’m obsessed with … USA Olympics

Let’s get real, who’s not?

From the Women’s Gymnastics Fab 5 to Mr. Phelps and Mr. Lochte to swim sensation Missy Franklin to the volleyball, rowing, diving and basketball … you name it, I probably watch it.

To date, my top 5 fave moments include:

  1. Gabby winning the Women’s Gymnastics all-around — what a little rockstar!
  2. Men’s Diving bronze medal win for David Boudia and Nick McCrory in the 10-meter platform.
  3. Missy Franklin’s first gold medal for the 100-meter backstroke.
  4. Anything including Michael Phelps and/or Ryan Lochte.
  5. Fab 5 clinching the Women’s Gymnastics GOLD.

As I write this, we are trailing the medal count by 1 from China — they have 61 and we have 60. But I have faith that we’ll pull out a W by the end of the games.

Overall I think that there is just something about the Games that unites a country (red, white & blue!!) and I love our daily morning conversations at work that typically start with “Did you see [insert event name here] last night??! Unreal.”

I love it. I also love knowing that our Olympians are normal, have fun and are… goofy. Enjoy:

USA — LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.

 

Juice Cleansing.

According to Wikipedia, spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. A juice cleanse is like spring cleaning your body. I’ve thought about doing it in the past and I’ve had friends complete them so when I saw the 3-day Peeled juice cleanse on Groupon, I was on board.

Interesting experience.

Someone warned me to research prepping for a cleanse so after reading an interesting article, I started prepping one week before my cleanse. Omitting foods gradually from my diet — carbs, sweets, caffeine, dairy, meat until I was eating only fruits and vegetables for the two days leading up to the cleanse. I felt good going into it.

The cleanse lasts 3-days (there’s also an option for 5-days) and allows the body to release old toxins built-up in the system and help cleanse the blood. Awesome. It’s 6 drinks per day, drink them 2 hours apart. You start the day with a Green Machine – spinach, kale, etc. Drink 2 is Haute Lemonade, think lemonade + cayenne pepper. Drink 3 was The Red Line — pressed watermelon (my fave). Drink 4 was another Green Machine. Drink 5 was another Red Line. Then wrap up your day with drink 6 Cashew Milk. In addition to the 6 juices, you can drink as much water and green tea as you’d like.

Day 1 was spent just getting through the juices. I learned the smartest way to do that is to chug. I was surprised that I wasn’t starving. Day 2 was the hardest for me — I literally wanted to eat ANYTHING. I went to bed early just so I’d stop being hungry. By the time I finished day 2, I knew I was in the home stretch and I could do it so day 3 was really rewarding for me. The one mistake I made was trying to workout. I literally thought I might pass out so I definitely do not recommend working out on a cleanse.

Overall I feel awesome post-cleanse and it was the perfect kick-start to get me back on track with my healthy lifestyle!

Interested? 

Peeled Chicago

1571 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

312-266-PEEL

Grace + Jillian

Cubs. Jillian. Signature Lounge. Beach. Grace. Chicago. Millennium Park. Wendella.

What do these words have in common?

Combined they made for one memorable and amazing way to spend the final weekend of July in Chicago.

I’ve been told I’m a good host. It’s actually something that’s important to me — hosting my visitors in such a way that moving to Chicago crosses their mind at least once. I’m only 50% kidding.

Jillian arrived Thursday night and we spent Friday as rivals: Cubs vs. Cards. Spent the day in Wrigleyville. Let’s not talk about the game…

Saturday morning Grace arrived and we relaxed the day away on Oak Street Beach. I may or may not have also been a tad hung over. We wrapped up the weekend as tourists taking in some of Chi’s hottest sights: Millennium Park, Wendella boat tour, Hancock 96th floor Signature Lounge, riding the el, Wrigley Field (take two, with Jillian’s parents), and beer tasting at Goose Island Brewery.

Grace asked me if I ever get tired of doing the touristy stuff. Awesome question. The answer is: no I don’t. There are so many added benefits — catching up with good friends, laughing about old memories and creating new ones, reminding myself why I love Chi so much, experiencing new things myself, and living life.

Friday Chi Faves: The Field Museum

My cousin Mike, his wife Candi, and their kids Cassidy, Dominick and Mason were visiting Chicago a couple weeks ago. I’m lucky to have a pretty flexible work schedule so I was able to spend a Friday afternoon with them at the Field Museum.

[The fam + Sue]

MAN was I impressed!! That place is cool. We literally spent the entire afternoon going from one exhibit to the next — from animals, to Africa, to Ancient Egypt … the Tsavo Lions, Underground Adventure and Extreme Animals — unending amazement. My favorite? Dinosaur Hall. When is the last time you saw dinosaur fossils? So impressive. We also took in The Story of Sue in 3-D “Waking the T. Rex“. And Sue! The largest, most extensive and best preserved T-rex specimen is quite a site. Overall I’m a huge fan. Great place to spend the day with family!

  

HOURS

Open every day except Christmas. 9am – 5pm

LOCATION

Museum Campus: 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

ADMISSION

Different admission levels, check it out here.

We did the All Access Pass — Adult $29, Kids 3-11 $20, Students & Seniors (65+) $24

**********

Added bonus to any visit to Museum Campus? The view of the city. Post-Field Museum, we walked along the Lake and took in the view. Gorgeous!!

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