Category Archives: Restaurants

Carmel, Indiana

I’ve been in Indiana since Monday and get to head home this afternoon.  Hooray!

During my stay, I’ve had quite the little tour of the suburban towns of Indianapolis.  Our hotel was in the very tiny town of Lebanon, while the audit was located in Whitestown about 10 minutes away.  A few days before I left for my trip, the idea popped into my head that I might be relatively close to my friend, Kali’s new house so I did a quick MapQuest search.  Only about 30 minutes!

kali and me

So of course we had to meet for dinner! 🙂

detour bar and grill

The weather was beautiful… a tad hot with the sun out but once it went down, it was perfect!  we sat outside at Detour Bar & Grille and each ordered a salad and a couple cocktails.  It was such a treat to meet up on a whim and I’m glad we got to catch up!

carmel in

We met about halfway between the both of us in the super cute town of Carmel.  There were so many little shops and restaurants that I wish we had more time to spend walking around.

Crossfit Carmel

I really enjoyed visiting the Crossfit gym during my last audit so I thought I’d check out if there was one in the area.  Since I loved the friendly town of Carmel so much, I decided to stop in for a workout at Crossfit Carmel this morning.

crossfit carmel

It’s really interesting to see how one box differs from another and is unique in its own way.

crossfit carmel box

Everyone was very welcoming and encouraging during the workout.  After a warm-up, we ran a 1 mile time trial and I was very pleased with my result – 6 min 47 sec!  Since my half marathon set me back a bit, this was the first time I felt good enough to run again.

crossfit carmel tire

Next, we completed the WOD (workout of the day) which consisted 3 rounds of 300 meters on the row machine followed by 30 box jumps.  It was tough but it definitely woke me up and now I’m ready for the day!


WIAW #19: Addicted

Halfway through the week!

I’m definitely looking forward to going home tonight.  The forecast seems promising so far in both Louisville and Chicago.  I’ve had between 2-5 hour delays in my last 4 audits sooo I’m really hoping things stay on schedule!

What I Ate Wednesday

Since it’s Wednesday, it’s time for another WIAW post.  If you’re not familiar, you can read about it here.


After a nice and sweaty Crossfit session, I grabbed something to eat from the little coffee shop at the hotel while I got ready for the day.

iced coffee banana barney butter

Iced latte and a banana, plus a packet of Barney Butter almond butter I brought along in my suitcase.  I normally drink my coffee sans cream or sugar so the latte was a nice change!  Creamy and delicious 🙂

hotel breakfast

Once I was showered and ready, I headed down to the hotel restaurant for a real breakfast.  Omelet with mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, homestyle potatoes, and biscuits.


After working for a few hours, my coworkers and I broke for lunch.

panera thai chicken salad

And I was happy the group decided on my favorite, Panera!  Same as usual – thai chopped chicken salad and whole wheat baguette on the side.  Plus that delicious new Hibuscus iced tea I had last time on my audit.

Afternoon Snack

By the time we got back to the hotel, each of us went back to our rooms to regroup for about an hour or so before meeting back up for dinner.

yogurt apple nut mix

I played some games on my iPad while snacking on this yogurt apple nut mix

handful of yogurt mix

Butter toffee peanuts, yogurt raisins, honey roast sesame sticks, honey peanuts, almonds, and dried apples.

fairway solitaire

Sooo lets get back to the games I was playing on my iPad… my friends, Darcy and Lauren, recommended this game, Fairway Solitaire.  They warned me it was addicting and were they ever serious!?  I’ve been playing it every spare minute on this trip!

photo (1)

It’s also maddening!  This little gopher laughs at you when you play poorly! But I still can’t stop!


Finally, I took a break and met up with the other two for dinner.  We headed to the Fourth Street area of downtown Louisville and settled on another brewery called Gordon Biersch.

mediterranean chicken gordon biersch

I ordered the Mediterranean Chicken entree, consisting of grilled chicken breast with a bruschetta topping, a side of sauteed veggies and jasmine rice.  It was quite tasty!

Bedtime Snack

planters heart healthy mix

Back at the hotel, I continued playing Fairway Solitare and sometime in the midst of my games, I was hungry again so I snacked on some mixed nuts.  I played this maddening game until I physically couldn’t keep my eyes open and called it a night!  Can we say addicted??


Have a great rest of the day!

Crossfit Louisville East

Hello from Kentucky!

Two of my coworkers and I are currently out of town for an audit in Louisville.  We flew in yesterday afternoon and had a few hours to relax before heading to dinner.

louisville tortoise

On the way to find a restaurant, we pull up to a stop light and see this creature!

close up tortoise

Ohh ya know, just a guy taking his GIANT TORTOISE for a walk.  No big deal.


against the grain

Anyways, we stumbled on this brewery and smokehouse, Against the Grain, which is located in a section of an old, renovated train station.

pulled pork at against the grain

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich which also came with coleslaw and their house barbeque sauce (left).  They also offered several other kinds of sauces so I chose a vinegar-based sauce called Carolina (right) for some variety.  Everything was delicious!

Crossfit Louisville East

Since I don’t have to be at work until 9:30 am this morning, I decided to drop in a local Crossfit box to get a workout in.

crossfit louisville east

Generally, Crossfit gyms allow people to visit while out of town without being a member.  I had the choice to pay a small fee or buy a shirt and workout for free.

crossfit louisville east shirt

Definitely went for the shirt!  🙂


Today was their “rest day” which I later found out was anything but!  I now realize the coach meant no heavy lifting.  We started off with a warm-up of jogging and sprints.  Although my foot is still a bit sore from the half marathon a few weeks ago, I decided to try running a bit and good news, no pain!  🙂

Then came “Annie” consisting of double unders and ab-mat situps.  The exercises are split up into 5 sets of 50-40-30-20-10 reps each.  (i.e. 50 DUs, 50 sit-ups, 40 DUs, 40 sit-ups, etc.)

AND THEN came the actual WOD:

  • 10 wall balls
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 kettle bell swings

10 rounds each

I was a sweaty mess at the end but as always, I felt amazing!!  Now time to get ready for work.  Have a fantastic day!

Madhouse on Madison

Dave and I had a little Sunday Funday yesterday!  We began our morning with some engagement pictures, courtesy of my dad and his lovely assistant (my mom), and then headed downtown Chicago.

dave and i at roots

Our first stop was Roots, one of our very favorite restaurants down the street from where we used to live.  We usually would have dinner at least one night a week there, so we’ve been missing it like crazy since we moved!

roots build a salad menu

I, of course, ordered my usual creation from the “Build A Salad” menu.

roots salad

Baby mixed greens, roasted red peppers, red onions, tomatoes, pistachios, goat cheese, grilled chicken and cilantro vinaigrette.  Oh, how I’ve missed this salad! 😉

madhouse on madison 2

After hanging out at Roots for a couple hours, we headed over to the “madhouse” (aka United Center).

hawks game girls

We met up with our friends, Will and Julie, and Julie’s sister and mom, and also ran into several other familiar faces.

hawks game

hawks score

hawks score 2

hawks score 3

The Hawks played great!  Upon arriving at the stadium, everyone was handed red Stanley Cup Playoff towels and every time the Hawks scored, the crowd went wild!

dave and i hawks game

Go Blackhawks!

WIAW #13: Tap House Grill

Halfway through the week already!  The last two days have flown by (as much as they can for a work day) because I’ve had a lot on my plate with work and have been super productive.  Always a good feeling!

Speaking of plates, I’m up to bat for another What I Ate Wednesday post! 😉


I fit in my longest half marathon training run to date of 9 miles early yesterday morning.  I was impressed how great I felt during those last couple miles!

arbonne chocolate protein shake

Immediately following my run, I downed a chocolate protein shake to replenish my energy.  I love the convenience factor of the individual cartons, no shaking or mixing powder required!

greek yogurt bananas blackberries almond butter

About an hour later, I ate my usual greek yogurt bowl – bananas on the bottom, greek yogurt layer, topped with blackberries and drippy cinnamon vanilla almond butter.

Mid Morning Snack

PR Bar and Peach Pear La CroixI worked away for a few hours before my appetite forced me to pull out a snack.  I had a Chocolate Peanut PR Bar and a La Croix, Peach-Pear flavor!


For lunch, I prepared a wrap and a chopped veggie salad.

ham swiss dijon wrap

I spread a Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese wedge over a whole wheat tortilla and wrapped up baby mix green lettuce, leftover ham from Easter, and a squirt of Dijon mustard.

chopped veggie salad

I needed to use up some veggies in the fridge before they went bad so I finely chopped up red bell pepper, green bell pepper, English cucumber, green onions, and grape tomatoes.  I tossed it all in a balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkled feta cheese over the top.  This turned out delicious and soo fresh-tasting!

Afternoon Snack

Like clockwork, I started to get hungry again late afternoon.

Cottage Cheese Bananas Sunflower Butter

Look familiar?  Very similar to breakfast, I sliced up banana and layered on the bottom with cottage cheese on top and a glob of sunflower butter.

Peach Pear La Croix

Because I’m quite addicted to La Croix, I drank another peach-pear to wash it down.

Roasted Kettle Kernels Handful

I worked a bit later yesterday so I was already hungry again on my way home.  I snacked on a few handfuls of these roasted kettle kernels.

roasted kettle kernels

They taste like a cross between those half-popped popcorn kernels at the bottom of the bowl and corn puff cereal.  Soooo good!


I easily could’ve eaten that entire bag of kernels but refrained since Dave and I met his parents for a bite to eat.  At my friend Darcy’s recommendation, we tried out the Tap House Grill in St. Charles.

Tap House Chop Chop Salad

I ordered the “Tap House Chop Chop” salad and added rotisserie chicken.  Romaine lettuce, celery, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pepperoncinis, bacon, bleu and parmesan cheese, cucumbers and onions with a herb-balsamic vinaigrette.

Amazing, I tell ya!  They chopped up all the ingredients super finely so I got an equal tasting of everything in each bite.  Loved it!

pinot noir

And a glass of Pinot Noir after a long day! 😉

Everyone else loved their food as well!  Dave and I have been searching for a go-to dinner spot and on our way home last night, we both agreed this might be our new favorite!  Thanks Darcy!

Springfield Spring Break

Well Monday certainly came too fast.  How was everyone’s weekends?

Despite being exhausted this morning, I still managed to get up for Crossfit.  I was very tempted to hit the snooze button a few times but I know I always feel better when I jump back into my normal routine after a long weekend so I did just that.  And I’m feeling much better now!

Springfield Spring Break

At each of our girls’ weekends, we try to schedule our next night out together so too much time doesn’t pass in between.  Cassie offered to host the next at her apartment in Springfield, and since the night fell near many people’s Spring Breaks, the nickname “Springfield Spring Break” stuck!

girls spring break springfield

Everyone arrived late afternoon on Saturday and we hung out for a few hours at Cassie’s apartment just catching up with one another.

cassie katie me

Before we knew it, it was already past 8 pm so we headed out to Donnie’s Homespun for some dinner and drinks.  We bar hopped a bit, met up with some of Cassie’s friends, and had an absolute blast!


Ohh boy, this picture represents the highlight of the weekend!  Once we arrived back at Cassie’s from the bars, we threw a pizza in the oven…. and obviously forgot about it!  It was burnt to a crisp!

springfield snow

Ironically, our “Spring Break” weekend ended in a Springfield blizzard on Sunday!  Luckily, we all got a head start back to the Chicago area before most of the snow came.

But for real, it’s officially Spring now… when is the snow going to stop??  I’m so ready for warm weather!

Thanks to Cassie and Katie for most of these pics! 🙂

Schlafly’s Bottleworks

Can I please tell you how much I already cannot wait for it to be Friday?  Of course because it’s the weekend but also I will be done with my Economics class for the semester!  Yay!


This studying thing is getting kind of old.  It seems every free moment I have is spent either studying or thinking about how I should be studying.  Ughh.


I’m on another audit this week.. in St. Louis this time and only for 1 day so I get to go home tonight.


Upon arrival, I was offered an upgrade to a fairly large suite which I, of course, gladly accepted!  I guess it’s a perk for traveling so much over the years.


Although I have to say the oddest part about this suite was this giant Jacuzzi tub practically smack dab in the middle of my room.  It wasn’t a bad thing… just felt rather strange being located right next to my bed, ya know?


Once we were settled in our hotel rooms, we met back downstairs and headed out to grab some dinner.

schlaflys bottleworks

Following the suggestion of the hotel front desk agent, we ate at Schlafly’s Bottleworks which is a large brewhouse with a restaurant attached.


For my entree, I ordered the bone-in Hefeweizen marinated grilled pork chop with a side of roasted brussel sprouts.  Both were outstanding!

side salad

The pork chop normally comes with a side of roasted brown sugar pecan sweet potatoes, but for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling the sweet potatoes last night.  I replaced the potatoes with the field greens salad topped with goat cheese, sliced almonds, croutons and a vanilla vinaigrette.

Of course, I also had to try one of the Schlafly’s beers so after sampling a couple varieties, I settled on their Kolsch golden ale.  Crisp and refreshing!

I left nice and full and to be honest, ready for some sleep!  Not exactly the best meal to have when you need to be productive after a long day.  Let’s just say I didn’t get too much studying done afterwards! 😉