One evening last week Stina and I meet up at the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. Christkindlmarket is filled with little shops, food, and people, lots of people in a village setting. Luckily, we were there before the masses came looking for handmade gifts, potato pancakes or bratwurst, and Glühwein, which is spiced wine that is served in little ceramic boots, or plastic cups but the extra money is worth the souvenir.
I participated in The Color Run when it was in Chicago last June. My team walked it, had a great time, and planned to do it again next year.
What we didn’t realize it that it’d be back before then. The Color Run heads back to town October 14th.
While it will be here, we won’t make it this time. However, it has me thinking of what I’d do the same and do differently if I was headed to the upcoming one.
- Be part of a team. We had so much fun cheering each other on and laughing at how ridiculous we all looked after going through each color zone. We also made team shirts which got laughs from other people.
- Put my cell phone and wallet in a ziplock bag. It kept everything safe and practically dust free. I had to only deal with a little dust from the few pictures I took at the beginning. As I got more and more covered in the color dust, I just kept it in my bag.
- Bring my fanny pack/hip bag/travel pouch/whatever you want to call it. I first bought this from Target’s travel section before I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k a few years ago. I feel more comfortable knowing my valuables are on my hip rather than on my back. Even though it does bounce around a bit, if it is a short distance it really doesn’t bother me as well.
- Bring bottled water. I rarely buy bottled water since we have a ton of travel bottles. This was more of a convenience factor and a “just in case” with the water station or after party. I would have been fine since there was a station plus bottled water there at the end but not having to think of it ahead of time helped. It was also nice to have it for the way home.
- Bring an extra shirt. Being able to clean up just a little bit was extremely helpful since I didn’t have color dust rubbing off on my arms or hands.
- Put spray in conditioner in my hair. I read in the site doc that if you put on spray conditioner, it will help keep the dust out of your hair. I sprayed my hair so much it ended up a bit crunchy. It worked because the lighter parts of my hair (I’m a brunette but the sun lightens my hair a bit in front.) stayed lighter.
- Wear a bandana around my neck. I passed through the color zones I was so glad I could cover my mouth. While it wouldn’t hurt you, the dust didn’t taste good. I only got stuck once where the angle of the throw got through.
- Rethink my layers. It was a cooler breezy June day and the run was right on the lake so I was able to wear layers. I had a wedding reception that evening so my goal was to keep warm but also not to end up fully covered in dust. I didn’t know if it would stain or not so I didn’t want to risk it. All that being said, it was way too bulky. Next time if I even need to layer, it will be more streamlined.
- Modify the bandana on my head. Last time I had it more so just tied at the back of my head with the free end tucked in. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do but as long as a good portion of my head gets covered that will work.
- Do more than just a shirt for our team. We had fun making our shirts but other than the name, they all looked different. I think it’d be fun, if we remember in time, to make them all look similar so from afar we definitely look like one team. There were teams that really went all out for team gear – tutus; matching socks, shorts, or sunglasses; and costumes. I don’t know if we would go as far as full costumes but something smaller would be fun. If I was every going to wear a tutu for a fun run, this would be a good match.
- Bring a string backpack for my random stuff. I didn’t use the bag check for the last run and opted to just carry some stuff in a plastic bag. That was such a bad idea. After awhile I was ready to chuck it but that was where my extra shirt was and I needed it.
- Bring face wipes/baby wipes. We lucked out and were able to clean up in a fast food bathroom. Otherwise, we would have had rainbow faces the entire way home. I’m planning to pick up a mini travel pack of wipes next time just in case.
It is looking like next year we will be walking it again. If I was running it, there might be slight changes in my lists but most would remain the same. Safe to say I’ll be using this post as a prep list in the future.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary products included in this post. All reviews within CSYA are my own and were not influenced by the company or individuals associated with the blogger event.
I was recently invited to a Chicago blogger event, Kick-Off Backyard Fun with OFF! party. When I found out it included gardening activities, crafts and outdoor entertaining tips from DIY Network’s Jeanne Benedict, I was super excited. I was super excited too that Stina was able to join me.
Jeanne Benedict shared easy tips about how to get out of the house this Fourth of July with help from the new OFF!® Clip-On™ Insect Repellent. Since mosquitos absolutely love me and I absolutely hate them, I have had a long relationship with OFF!® products. This was a product that caught my attention.
“OFF!® Clip-On™ Insect Repellent is a personal mosquito repellent that doesn’t have to applied directly to skin. The quiet battery powered fan circulates an odorless repellent and within minutes creates head-to-toe protection for up to 12 hours. If you move allow a few minutes for the unit to rebuild its protection.”
Being a crafty person, I was excited to see that there was a variety of items ready and waiting for the group as well.
While we worked on the projects, I got a chance to talk to some of the other local bloggers. There was a variety of bloggers attending the event including mommy, fashion, healthy living and running blogs.
I also had a chance to chat with Jeanne. As someone who is big into DIY, both crafts and entertaining, that was really cool.
Overall, the event was great plus I got a chance to catch up with Stina. My centerpiece is currently on the shelf in our family room. The flower pot is making our patio table a bit more festive. When I head out to watch this year’s 4th of July fireworks, I’ll have my OFF!® Clip-On™ Insect Repellent with me.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary products included in this post. All reviews within CSYA are my own and were not influenced by the company or individuals associated with the blogger event.
The Color Run was a great time, a messy one, but a great time. It was a fun run/fun walk with no official times and a time frame of basically when everyone finishes as long as it was within the 3 hour time block that was set.
3.1 miles in under 3 hours? I could definitely do that.
The day before the run I headed up to the packet pickup. After a train/walk/bus combo, I made it to the “opposite” end of Downtown Chicago since I’m usually coming from the south. Of course, I had to stop and take a few pictures.
I’m really glad I stopped to play tourist because Kelly showed up! While I knew she’d be at the run, it was totally random that we ended up at the packet pickup at the same time.
It was good thing since I was walking it and she was running it and we ended up not seeing each other the day of the race. (You can read her race post here.)
Packet pickup took if 10 minutes since there were basically no lines. Safe to say I picked a good time.
A short walk, a bus ride, a train ride, and another short walk later I was home. I had started getting stuff together the night before since I had hoped to get to bed super early. Since we were walking I didn’t wear my usual workout attire mostly because I was worried that the color powder might stain it. Plus our team thought it would be fun to make team shirts using puffy paint. Even though my bag was packed and ready, I still got to bed later than hoped time. Maybe it was the excitement but I just couldn’t get settled and fought to get comfy. Setting an alarm this early probably didn’t help either.
I managed to get up, get moving and make it to my cousin-in-law’s house on time the day of the race. I was quite proud of myself since I had no caffeine in my system. Once we made it to the L we started seeing other people in white shirts and/or wearing the headbands. Once we transferred to the second L, there were more people sitting in the car with us and then it was out of the station and into a sea of people heading to the 5k.
I was heading to a wedding reception later that day and so I tried my best to prevent rainbow-hued skin: long yoga pants, long-sleeved layering T that had shrunk
and belly shirts aren’t my thing so I had no problem throwing out later, my team shirt that was HUGE (you can see the actual shadow of where I am in the picture on the right), 93 cent sunglasses, two bandanas so I could cover my hair and mouth, and the headband that came in the race packet. I knew I looked a bit ridiculous but it worked. I also had my ID and whatnot with my cell in a ziplock in a fanny hip pack.
After seeing pictures online I knew I had to protect my phone. Seeing this in the distance made me glad I did as well.
Time to get
There were a lot of teams participating. Some had also made shirts. Others were in tutus, matching shorts, matching socks, or even more serious like the guys in the painters coveralls. Safe to say costumes are definitely welcome.
The cell went away for awhile after this. I didn’t want to risk it breaking from the color dust so I didn’t get more of the route. It went up and then back along the beach so people were stopping to get pictures with Lake Michigan in the background. There was a bit of a breeze so if it was actually hot out that would have been totally welcomed. The route ended back in a field where the color party was held after each wave. There was a countdown and everyone threw their packet of color powder up in the air. Mine wouldn’t open so I ended up popping it in the air ahead of time. It worked and only one of my teammates ended up a little orange.
We all ended up a bit on the tie-dyed side.
I was turning towards the people throwing the color so my front clearly got more than my back. I had put in quite a bit of leave-in conditioner and with darker hair ended up with rainbow hair wasn’t a worry. My teammates kept joking that I looked like I was ready to rob a stagecoach
though were was my horse? but it helped me breathe through the stations. Yellow was the worst and I did end up coughing like crazy but that was from the angle I got hit. It tasted really weird too. Overall though I had no coughing fits which made me exceptionally happy.
I came home with green-ish feet since the color went through both my shoes and socks.
I had green blotches on my legs and a few yellow areas on my face. Luckily they all scrubbed off.
Overall I was extremely pleased with The Color Run as a walker. The layout of the course and various tents made sense and was easy to manuever. It was supposedly slightly less than a 5k but since I was doing this for fun and not for a time I didn’t care. It was well staffed and the people were clearly having great time. There was a water station about halfway. I used one of the beach bathrooms so I can’t comment on the port-a-potties other than there were quite a number of them. Post race they had bottles of water and granola bars out and while we didn’t use it there was a color removal station with blowers.
I can definitely see myself doing this 5k again. My teammates are interested in doing so again too. If I actually run it, I know I’ll plan a bit differently – actual running clothes but still with a bandanna for my face, check my bag with my clean shirt, and of course actually train for it.
Music for this post: Janet Jackson
I have a bad habit of taking tons of photos with my cell phone and then forgetting about them. This is one of them.
This pug is named Pan if I understood his owner correctly. I had seen them walking around before since it is pretty hard to forget a dog wearing little orange shoes. It totally makes sense to me since salt and whatnot can hurt a dog’s feet. (Molly was hopping around because of rock salt once and now we only put the pet safe stuff anywhere they could possibly go.)
Since I didn’t want to scare the dog or make the owner angry, I asked if I could take the photo. Pan didn’t seem to care but at the same time I don’t know pug expressions that well.
Last year I didn’t participate in any sort of run or run/walk. I had planned to but realistically I needed more than just plan. This year I wanted to change that and registered for my first 5k – The Color Run.
I learned about it via someone I met via Stina at my first 5k. Basically you end up looking like you got thrown up on by a clown or sneezed on by a Sprite. It sounds gross and yet amazingly hilarious at the same time. I was all ready to get working on being able to run it.
I put the word out and waited. I actually didn’t need to wait because people were interested in joining me right away. One person got looped in and then another. It was like a pre-run version of tag with people just being mentioned and not really asked. Kelly saw my tweet about it and she’s coming down from WI too! It all worked out and we have our team.
Thing is, no matter how much I mentioned before of wanting to run, we (as in the IL people) aren’t running it. One of the team members can’t run (and has the surgical scars to back her up) but wanted to do this. Since I actually have two 5ks planned for the same weekend, this works for me! The main focus of this 5k, or so it seems on their site, is to have a fun time. So our team, which is a mix of family and friends, will be a laughing mess at the end.
It will totally be worth it. I just hope I don’t have to be purple-ish the next day. If you see anyone with Awesome Waffles Don’t Fall Down on a shirt, that is us!
Music for this post: Lacuna Coil
Darth Husband and I try to do something holiday-ish every year. Usually it has Christmas lights as part of it with driving around the neighborhood as the smaller scale or going downtown for a more major version. The downtown version usually includes a peppermint mochas or salted caramel hot chocolates. This time we decided to do something totally different, well at least for part of it.
Not that long ago we picked up the Groupon offer for two adult admissions to the Shedd Aquarium including the Jellies exhibit and their holiday show Fantasea. It ended up being only $20 for us to go which was a good deal plus it was an evening event so it would work better with our work schedules. I hadn’t been there since I was in grade school which was part of a field trip most likely.
While we had known there’d be traffic, we got stuck in some serious traffic including people going 10 mph under the speed limit for NO reason. It was disappointing that we’d miss the show but even with giving a good amount of extra time we arrived after it had started. However, they told us that it had sold out (odd with it being a deal) but they gave us a voucher for two adult admissions for another show (fair deal and good business IMO.)
We wandered around looking at the various exhibits/tanks/confused inhabitants since the aquarium usually isn’t open that late. While talking to a staff member we found out that most areas have lights on timers and it then made sense why quite a few were quite dark. Nonetheless, we were able to see a lot. Downstairs there is even more like the sharks, beluga whales, dolphins (viewing area) and penguins which always crack me up. If you picture a penguin going WAAAAHHHHOOOOOOOO as it zips past you they are even funnier. Yes I know I’ve seen Happy Feet too many times.
There was a decent line for the Jellies but the wait wasn’t horrible since we beat the crowd getting out of the Fantasea show. I seriously could have stayed there for an hour if the flow of people wasn’t there. The jellies were beautiful and so graceful.
We wandered a little bit after the exhibit and then had to head out since we had dinner reservations at Wildfire. Both of us had never been there and thought that it would be a nice place to try for the end of our night. We both ordered the Filet Medallion Trio – medium rare with peppercorn, horseradish and mushroom for him, well done with parmesan, mushroom and baked potato for me with sides of baked potato and roasted vegetables.
The food was excellent. The service was very good as well. Our waiter was attentive without being overkill and even asked if I was taking pictures for Facebook. When I told him it was for a blog, he asked the name even though I said it was a really small one and commented that it didn’t matter. I thought that was pretty cool.
I however didn’t get the full dining experience due to the combo of an earlier headache that refused to go away, the decision to wear a wool blend sweater (smart for the aquarium and REALLY stupid for a steakhouse) and sitting near the grills. If I get to warm I feel ill and lose my appetite which is really frustrating. While I did pop outside and felt better, I ended up doggie bagging my leftovers (we fully paid for dinner so might as well.) Darth Husband loved Wildfire and I’m up to going again. I’ll just be sure to go on a day sans headache, more appropriately attired and request a table as far from the grill as possible. Yes, I know it’s weird but if it will work and I can enjoy my steak fully, I’m all up for it!
Disclaimer: Aquarium admissions and dinner were completely paid out of pocket and we received no compensation towards either.
I’m a firm believer in finding jewelry in non-traditional places. By traditional I mean chain jewelry stores, the mall, and chain stores. While I am not saying that you can’t find good/fun/nice stuff there, there are so many other places to try. Online venues like Etsy, craft fairs and markets and even little shops when you are out-of-town on vacation lead to great finds that are DIFFERENT.
I like finding pieces that are different because they make me feel good when I wear them. The likelihood of me seeing someone wearing the same thing is very small. If this does happen though there is that sense of” COOL! You know about this great (whatever) place as well.”
While Nikabee and Iwere wandering about the most recent Renegade Craft Fair, there was a booth that literally made us both go OOOH! and we had to go check it out. It was beautiful mosaic jewelry by Staci Sterenberg. I immediately saw these earrings and grabbed them.
I had to
protect keep them out of the hands of anyone that might want to take them far far away from me.
Yes, I am being over dramatic but it was the reality of the situation. I HAD to have them and obviously did buy them. The color scheme is one that I wear pretty much every season (lighter side in warmer weather and darker in cooler) and so I knew I’d wear them quite often. I have worn them numerous times and gotten numerous compliments about them.
One thing that many people have said was about them being so different. DING DING DING! We have a winner since different is what I like!
NOTE: I recevied no compensation for this post. The earrings were paid entirely with my own money. I just absolutely fell in love with them immediately and will definitely buy earrings from her again.
Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review and paid for the entire meal myself.
Not that long ago my friend, Nikabee, and I went to Moonshine for dinner. While it is a ways from where we both live, she had been there before and thought I would like it as well.
Moonshine’s website calls it an “urban roadhouse” which is a description that totally works. It is gritty without being dirty, a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll….sorry couldn’t help it! Basically, I could see wearing a sundress and sandals there or a pair of jeans and boots and fitting in either way. I wouldn’t dress up dress up but if you want to why not right?
Overall I felt comfortable and we were seated by the main windows. Being on Division St meant great people watching. People watching when not inhaling my food that is. We skipped drinks and just got food. I could see stopping in for a beer if I lived in the area or was in the area.
YUM YUM YUM.
I like my burgers well done and this was cooked exactly like I like it. The cheese was melted but not baked on. The bacon wasn’t super chewy – can’t stand wobbly bacon! The fried onions was battered and fried. It looked like a giant onion ring. If they sold them as onion rings, I’d get them in a heartbeat. Neither greasy nor soggy means a winner to me. The bun had a good squish factor but not smushy (yes these are my technical terms) so that you could eat it without it refusing to budge and then launching the fillings across the plate.
The sweet potato fries were excellent. If we were there for just something to snack on or something to eat while having a beer, that would be a definite option.
The service was attentive without being annoying. Add that to good food and good atmosphere. Overall, if I am in the area again, I will definitely be back.