went to Chicago.

So I just got back from spending a week up in Winnetka, IL.

My older sister, Ali, lives there with her husband Adam and 14 month-old baby named Ava! She invited both my mom and I to fly up there for the 4th of July to celebrate and then baby/dog sit while her and Adam ventured to California for a wedding. Mom took the baby. I took the dog ๐Ÿ˜›ย His name is Otter and heโ€™s a big fluffy Golden Retriever. 249657_10150269727766826_6851762_nHeโ€™s a pretty clean eater… he’s potty trained…he likes to sleep a lot. Does anyone see where Iโ€™m going with thisโ€ฆ? Haha Ava is the complete OPPOSITE!Baby Ava My little niece loves to smush her food with her hands or even better throw it on the ground. She is just over a year therefore diapers are still a must. She also enjoys waking up at 5 am and playing ALL day long until about 7 pm when she finally conchs out. She is quite a handful as any baby would be at that age though. The whole experience taught me one sure thing: I am no where near ready to have a family of my own! Babies are work. Thankfully, Ava is a sweet one filled with giggles so itโ€™s hard not to love her.IMG_3506IMG_3569

Anywho, onward to some highlights of the trip!

  1. My sister prepared a healthy simplistic Mediterranean dinner for us the first night. My contribution was the Sumac yogurt dip to go alongside her grilled eggplant. It was all sooo good. I was thankful to relax and watch the food just get placed in front of me! ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_3507 IMG_3508 IMG_3509 IMG_3510
  2. Everything was in full bloom! When Iโ€™d go out for a morning jog, I found myself stopping every 50 some yards to take pictures!IMG_3513 IMG_3527 IMG_3528 IMG_3540
  3. I got to go to of my favorite healthy quick eat places in the city: The Protein Bar. This place is great. ย They are doing exactly what I hope to do someday and that is to change the way people eat on the go. They promote healthy food that can be whipped up in a jiffy! They’re famous for their bar-ritos (a healthier burrito that uses quinoa), but they also have quinoa bowls, salads, soups, juices, and smoothies. I can’t praise this place enough so next time you find yourself in Chi-town or Washington DC, go try it! ย Favorite Bar-rito: the Ivy (grilled). Pictured: Green City VEGAN (chilled).IMG_3544
  4. My mom and I visited one of my favorite little fresh produce markets in Lake Forestย that my friend, Katie Otterbeck, introduced to me several years back. It’s called Amidei Mercatino.ย IMG_0684It’s located in this tiny little ally, run by a super nice Italian family. They have gorgeous produce. Check out the size of these ugly tomatoes! They were beautiful.IMG_3555So that’s a little about my one getaway for the summer. I hope ya’ll out there are able to enjoy a vacation or two this summer in order to break away from the daily routines we so often get caught up in.