Chicago Updates

by Lauren on January 25, 2013

Hello all!

Well one week in the big city is is the bag and I can honestly tell you that it has been everything I imagined it would be and so much more!


I’m in love with Chicago.  Everything from the food, to the people (yes, Chicagonians? are a breath of fresh air compared to east coasters, sorry guys), to how simply breathtaking the city lights up at night.  Everything just feels right.

I’ve officially begun work with my apprenticeship and I really can’t explain how blessed I feel to have this incredible experience first hand.  Sara is more than just a mentor, she is giving me true vision and direction and bringing out passion in me that I’ve been holding back for years.  I really do value every single moment I spend with her and every time we get together, I feel a surge of positive energy and clarity.  It’s a phenomenal feeling.

I’ve also started working in a quaint little wine bar on nights and weekends which I absolutely LOVE! Basically, I get to talk and pour wine to really fun and interesting city people all night.  How fitting for this girl!

Oh and I did find a gym in the same town where I’m living that I can teach RPM.  It’s the only one around here and I’m so happy because this gym is fantastic.  The people are overwhelmingly nice and they’ve graciously accepted me into their fitness family right away.

All the stars are aligning and as promised, I’m still keeping the promise I made to myself to just be present while I’m here.  I don’t want to take any second for granted, I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to be aware.

As far as adjusting on the everyday things, it’s not taking nearly as long as I thought it would.  My schedule is a bit unpredictable but I’m fairly set with a more structured agenda next week.  I’ve just been going with it for now and it’s working.

Workouts have been come and go.  My apartment complex as a really nice gym so I’ve been able to take advantage of the facility almost everyday.


It’s funny because I use to be on such an early workout routine and now it’s been late mornings, afternoons and sometimes even evenings.  I just fit in a run and maybe some weights when I can, and I don’t stress about when it is or how long it is. It’s nice.

Breakfasts have been pretty much the usual; oatmeal, cereal, yogurt bowls.


I did keep my tradition of a big Sunday morning breakfast though – pancakes and eggs, this tradition will not cease ever!

Lunch has been inconsistent in terms of what and where.  Some days, I’ll find myself with time to throw something together in the apartment so I’ve been going with quick and easy egg scrambles, veggie burgers, or leftovers.


Other days, I’m out in between jobs or meetings so I’ll either pack a sandwich or grab something.

There just so happens to be a fabulous Whole Foods exactly one mile from my apartment, which is a beautiful disaster.

Whole Foods, I love you for so many reasons.  The amount of money I can drop on a salad is definitely not one of them.

I’ve been so fortunate with most of my dinners so far.  The food in this city is unreal.  Like, some of the best I’ve ever had in my 26 years of existence. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had the chance to have some fantastic dinner dates, one being last night.

Chelsey and I made plans on Saturday for a date night this week.  I convinced her into a quick shopping spree with me, as I desperately needed some (warm) work clothes for my bar tending job.  Afterwards, we settled down for some catching up over dinner.

Another reason I love this city so much is this girl right here.

We dined at Big Bowl, which was actually recommended by a few readers.

Big Bowl is a Asian Fusion restaurant specializing in fresh Chinese and Thai dishes.  All of their food focuses on all-natural, antibiotic and hormone free, ingredients, many coming from local farms.  The food is defined by freshness and authenticity.

We began with the Fresh Summer Rolls.

I could have eaten 3 orders of these alone.  So good!

Fortunately, I limited myself to half of this order because my entree was well worth it.

I ordered the yellow curry with tofu and vegetables.  It was delicious but my only complaint was the spice level.  It could have been a tad more spicy for my liking, but I solved this with the side of chili sauce they brought to the table.

We both could have easily cleaned our plates, but mindfully, we sat our forks down 3/4th’s in, making sure we left room for dessert.

Oh hey Red Mango!  Didn’t I just see you?

I’m serious about this, the fact that Red Mango is in walking distance for me could potentially destroy my savings account.

Even in 10 degree weather, we had every intention of ending our night with icy goodness.

And with bellies full of curry and fro-yo, we parted ways only to make plans for our next outing.

I adore her!

Tonight, I had another life changing dining experience with Sara at The Paris Club in River North.   Unfortunately, the photo of my Scottish Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apples and an absurd whole grain mustard sauce did not turn out, or else I would have left you salivating more than you already are.

Consider it a good thing.

Well, that’s where I’m at.  Life is good, all is well and it’s all just getting started.



Do you find it’s easier to adjust to a new schedule when you change you environment? 


18 thoughts on “Chicago Updates”

  1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear that you’re loving it!

  2. Ha! I’m dying laughing at that picture of me being cold by the froyo. As you know, I’m glad you’re settled in and that we get to hang out WHENEVER we want! It’s probably the best thing ever.

  3. I’m so happy that Chicagoians are welcoming you with open arms! I’m from the dubuque area (about 2.5 hours north) and the people in that part of the country are the some of the most genuine and nicest people I know. Whole Foods 1 mile from your apt?! Dangerously awesome!

  4. I love reading this update and seeing that things are going so well for you here! I have to recommend that you try Karyn’s Cooked. I’ve only been once after some friends recommended it to me and it was INCREDIBLE, I had a hard time deciding what to eat. 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Ummm, what??? When can we go?? 🙂

  5. Erica says:

    I am SO happy for you! Seems like everything is falling into place. Yayy for the fun wine bar gig and for the gym! Ah! Thrilled

  6. Katie says:

    Hey love!!

    So glad things are falling in place!! Great to hear! I hope you have a great weekend!! <3

    1. Lauren says:

      Thanks Katie! xoxo

  7. Most call ourselves Chicagoans! and I love Big Bowl, I’m always pleasantly surprised by their food – so fresh and clean for a chain restaurant. So glad to see that Chicago is doing great things for you.

  8. It seriously sounds like everything is SO PERFECT> love the job, the wine bar, and an RPM position! plus awesome food and friends. so happy for you!

  9. It’s so fun to see two of my favorite ladies together! The only sad part is that I wish I were there with you! Glad you two are making the most of it though. Enjoy all of the amazing Chicago food for me! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your time there so far! Live it up girl!

    1. Lauren says:

      Aww, wish you were here too! xoxo

  10. Chicagoans 😉 I’m so glad things have gone this well for you in your first week here! It sounds like you’ve had a lot of great adventures (and eaten a lot of AMAZING food! Definitely jealous of your eats!) — I hope there’s a lot more to come for you while you’re here 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Thanks Bethany! I’m sure there will be so many more amazing things (and food experiences) to come!

  11. Three jobs! You are one busy girl. Glad you get to hang out with some awesome people – Love the pic of the fresh summer rolls 🙂
    xo Emily @ Hungry Delights

  12. Jennie says:

    Chicago is very happy and lucky to have you Lauren! I certainly agree that it is one of the most wonderful cities ever, even if I am a bit biased! Incidentally, I too have had the experience of looking at the total for my salad at Whole Foods and wondering, “How the hell did that happen?!” but one tends not to forget the price when they are in the midst of healthy food bliss. Welcome, to SPD Fitness as well. We are thrilled to have you! 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Jennie, you are too kind! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be here and I’m so thrilled to be a part of the SPD family. 🙂 Looking forward to getting to know you all more and experiencing more of this wonderful city.

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