1.28.2013

Where I've Been


I just realized that I've only posted three times in the past few weeks. Things have been a little crazy over here, but also so, so good. Alaina and I have been training our new interns. These girls are amazing! Then there's the usual work stuff (The Everygirl and graphic design projects). One of my best friends came in on Thursday and left this morning. CrossFit, friends, and a few other pretty fantastic things going on. I've been a busy girl. Let's talk about it.

1. Dinner at Paris Club. The dessert wasn't exactly paleo, but we were celebrating Colleen's birthday, and it was well worth it. Order that waffle thing. Woah...

2 & 3. Played tour guide to Sheila–my oldest friend of 24 years (we went to elementary school together). We went to the bean, walked Michigan avenue, Oak Street, ate at 3,482 restaurants (it's freezing and eating seems to be one of the only things to do in this city), went Second City, Jayson Home & Garden, lunch with Alaina, went out with friends, etc. And I brought her to CrossFit! She did the baseline with my favorite coach! So proud of her.

And speaking of CrossFit, I did my 3rd Rx WOD on Saturday. It was a partner WOD / 25 min AMRAP. 6 Hang power cleans (65 lbs), 7 wall balls (14 lbs), 8 box jumps (20 in). I am so, so sore, but feel so good!

4 & 5. Celebrated Colleen's 27th! #lovemygirls

6. A snowy stroll through Lincoln Park with Sheila. I love the snow, but I am so ready for warmer weather. Already anticipating trips to the beach and sitting on every patio possible. Street festivals, movies in the park...I cannot wait! It's going to be a long few months for this California turned Chicago girl.

A few other things. I finally upgraded to the iPhone 5. LOVE this thing. The battery lasts forever, it's light, pretty, and lightning fast. I also bought my first cubs shirt. It's really cute. I can't name a Cub and have only been to one game, but I really love their logo & I love my city.

1.22.2013

Lately


Short of Tuck's injury, I had a really fantastic week. The Everygirl made it to DailyTekk's 100 Best, Most Interesting blogs of 2013, right alongside Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop and Zooey Deschanel's HelloGiggles. Awesome! We also secured a sponsor and location for our one year anniversary party. One month from today, The Everygirl will turn one! Alaina and I are taking our one year off and plan on celebrating together. Cannot wait! What a year it's been. And personally, things are going quite well. Like I said–I had a fantastic week.

And in pictures, clockwise from top left:
Movie night. Ordered dinner from Benchmark. Burger with no bun and a side of veggies. #paleo
Brunch at Tavern on Sunday. Wore my new Kate Spade cuff. That's an iced Americano in my hand. Yum.
Installed my new sconces from Euro Style Lighting. Love my Cocoa and Hearts painting!
Negative temps yesterday. It's freezing. And yes–Buddy is wearing a Jonathan Adler scarf.
Flowering branches are back!! And we're in that issue of Vanity Fair.
New rug arrived c/o West Elm. It is so soft and looks amazing.

A few other things:
One of my favorite features to date–How to Style a West Elm Parsons Desk
I just wrapped up what I think is a pretty awesome feature. It's going up Wednesday! Get excited, people.
One of my best friends is coming to Chicago this Thursday - Monday morning!

1.21.2013

All about paleo part 2

I shared this post about the paleo diet last week and thought I should take a moment to answer a few questions about paleo. So many people mentioned that they could not "give up" certain foods. Well, I've tried every diet under the sun and always felt so limited, as if I was trying to avoid certain foods in order to get skinny. I no longer view food this way.

When you work out this hard, you'll find that you want to put the best possible food in your body. But you can also justify having a treat every so often. And when you do, there's no reason to feel bad about it. All thanks to CrossFit.

A few CrossFit updates–did 5 unbroken kipping pull-ups last week and a total of 20 kipping pull-ups one day! I also did my first 55 lb thrusters on Saturday when I did the partner WOD with Gina.  I've always done 45 so adding that 10 lbs was a very big deal. I am so sore but it felt amazing.

Please leave any questions about paleo or CrossFit in the comments section and I'll add my answers to this post.


What do you typically order when eating out?
I almost always order some form of protein and/or vegetables. I usually order an omelet with no cheese for breakfast or brunch and will ask for fruit instead of potatoes. At lunch or dinner I will switch any non-paleo food (rice, quinoa, potatoes) for vegetables. I usually ask for my food to be prepared without butter or oil (unless it's olive oil) and have been doing that long before I started paleo. When ordering a salad I always ask for olive oil and vinegar on the side instead of dressing. I also try to avoid places with very limited menus or non-paleo options.


Do you do meal prep for the week? 
Yes! I usually make one trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes for the week. I buy what I have to at Whole Foods (meat, certain veggies that aren't at TJs, and a few snacks), and get everything else at TJs. I'll decide on at least 1-2 crock pot recipes and alternate those for lunch and dinner for the week. I almost always have 2 eggs and bacon or organic turkey sausage with some sliced strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries for breakfast. I try not to snack too often but will have veggies, some nuts, and sometimes, a little fruit when needed.

Do you drink alcohol?
I try to limit my alcohol intake as much as possible but will occasionally have a glass of red wine when on the challenge. I've had maybe 7-8 glasses of red in 2013 which is actually more than I planned on. But you have to live, and it is paleo friendly, so I feel ok about it. When just following paleo, I will occasionally have tequila with soda water and lime but I am all about red wine these days. I met friends at Stout yesterday but was very sore after Saturday's WOD and decided not to drink any alcohol. It really depends on how I'm feeling.

Did you go full on Paleo one day or did you slowly ease yourself into it? 
I pretty much dove right in–after being a vegetarian for two years. I had relied heavily on greek yogurt, black beans, etc. and just cut those things cold turkey. It wasn't that difficult of a transition for me. I did not really adjust how much I was drinking until the challenge and seriously decreased my number of cheat meals during the challenge as well. It wasn't long before I had more energy and saw a huge change in my body, workouts, etc. so I just stuck with it. While it may seem limiting to some, I actually feel like I've added things to the list of foods I will eat.

1.15.2013

All About Paleo

This post is for everyone who has emailed asking about the paleo diet. I have officially been a CrossFitter for 8 months, and while I write these posts for myself, I am thrilled that they've inspired several readers to give CrossFit and/or paleo a try. Over the past few months, I have received multiple emails about CrossFit and paleo, and while I would hardly consider myself an expert on I have learned a thing or two. And yesterday, I did 5 unbroken unassisted pull-ups, and 20 unassisted pull-ups!


Again–I am not an expert and urge you to do your own research. The paleo/caveman diet is simple. Eat real food. Lean meats, vegetables, eggs, fruit, some raw nuts, honey, etc. No sugar, corn syrup, soy, or anything modified. This does not work for everyone, and it's certainly not the only way to be healthy. I am not saying that dairy and grains are bad. I just tend to avoid them because this is a lifestyle that works for me. I've never felt better, and I believe that the way I eat has drastically improved my body, mind, and the way that I work out.

These days, we eat food designed to last on a shelf for months and then wonder why our bodies can't break it down. Boxed cereals, pasta, cookies etc. Pop tarts are not food. Soda is poison.


This doesn't mean you can't have the occasional treat. These brownies are one of my favorite desserts, and are paleo friendly. And if you really want to splurge on a Sprinkles cupcake, go for it. I had one while on the paleo challenge and still lost 1/4 of my body fat in two months. I try to stick to one cheat meal a week and do not believe in depriving myself. I also have some big goals. I am working on getting below 20% body fat (athlete status) in the next few months. 

The paleo challenge is a more intense version of paleo. It involves lowering sugar intake and eliminating alcohol. No bananas, grapes, larabars, almond milk, or sweet potatoes (all are paleo friendly but not paleo challenge friendly), for example. Too much sugar. I chose to eliminate all fruit except for berries which are lowest in sugar but would have apples on occasion. And really–if an apple is the worst thing you've eaten all day, I think you're doing pretty well. We were allowed one glass of red per day although I tried to keep it to 2-3 glasses a week. I am on another challenge with a few friends and have had two glasses the past two weeks. It's just about being healthy most of the time.

Instead of baking with wheat flour and sugar, you'll use almond or coconut flour and honey. This isn't about deprivation. It's about providing your body with the best possible nutrients that you can. And if you really want some pizza, a non-paleo cupcake, or another treat–you should have it. But you shouldn't eat that way on a regular basis.


What I typically eat/drink
Breakfast: 2 organic free range eggs, organic turkey sausage, and a few sliced strawberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries. I will sometimes make an omelet with 2 eggs, some egg whites, and lots of veggies.

Lunch and dinner: I usually make a few servings of some sort meat and veggies and then alternate between the two for lunch and dinner. I've been relying heavily on my crock pot but plan on mixing things up a bit more. If I have a salad, dressing is always olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Snacks: vegetables (jicama is a favorite), a few raw almonds, or some strawberries. I will sometimes have a larabar. They're delicious. And I'm so excited that a friend of mine from CrossFit is launching a line of bars that are much healthier (and taste better) than larabars. I'll let you know when they're available. He dropped a few off for my trip to CA last week and they are the perfect snack!

Alcohol: red wine or tequila with soda water and lime (paleo margarita)

Beverages: water, iced americanos, and coconut water after an especially intense workout. I love la croix coconut sparkling water as well.

What's always in my pantry:
Lots of spices!
Ghee
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Olive oil
Almond and coconut flour
Coconut sugar
Honey

In my fridge/freezer:
Eggs
Veggies
Chicken (organic/free range/grass fed–always!)
Frozen fruit (I love frozen strawberries)
Coconut water
Coconut La Croix
Black cherry Klarbrunn sparkling water

Snacks:
Veggies
Nuts
Fruit / berries

When I need a treat:
Coconut larabar
Enjoy life chocolate chips
Hail Merry macaroons
Go Raw organic lemon super cookies

A few links/resources:
What is the paleo diet?
What is CrossFit?
My thoughts on CrossFit
PaleoPot 
Elana's Pantry
Nom Nom Paleo
My friend Gina's blog–River North Paleo Girl
Other paleo blogs I love–Civilized Caveman and PaleOMG  
And of course, the place that changed my life: RNCF 

1.14.2013

Lately


After sleeping all day Friday I dragged myself out of bed and went to CrossFit. I was pretty delirious and wasn't able to clean and jerk 85 lbs (only got to 80 which was my previous max). I stayed in that night and went to bed early so I could work out the next morning. Never taking a red-eye again.

Headed to CrossFit on Saturday morning before my 11:00 photo shoot. That's a 1 mile run, 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 150 squats each. Upper body is still sore, but I was able to WOD with the pink band again, and it actually felt pretty easy. Finally feeling better!

My 2nd paleo challenge is going well. I've had 2 glasses of red since I started on Jan 2. I had a stomach ache and ate a little popcorn one day, but am otherwise strict paleo and feel great. I have received a number of emails about the paleo dite so I'm working on a post about the paleo. Will have that up soon.

Headed to a photo shoot with Alaina after my workout. Gym bag & camera bag c/o Lo & Sons. Duffle coat c/o Warehouse. Photographed a new collection for Pyar&Co. Styling by Alaina Kaczmarski.

Dinner at Embeya Sat night. The food was amazing! I have never been an adventurous eater but as of summer decided that I should at least try everything. I ate (and loved) octopus, monkfish, and salmon. So, so good. Wore my new coated pants c/o James Jeans. Is it too much to say that these pants will change your life? Ok–i'm overshooting. But they're pretty awesome.

Brunch at Tavern Sunday. Came home, did some work, and watched the Golden Globes with the pup. What was going on with Jodie Foster? And since everyone else will be blogging about all the fashion, I'm going to skip doing that. I love it, but my commentary feels completely unnecessary. And if I'm being really honest, I was editing photos and catching up on email while watching, so I only half-watched the awards.

I installed my new sconces from Euro Style Lighting. Let's hope they don't fall off the wall like my toilet paper holder. I'm usually pretty handy!

Shameless and Californication are back. I'll get around to watching them one of these days.

I am re-reading The Great Gatsby and then moving on to a few classics I've yet to read. Working on those '13 goals.

Did you watch the globes? Shameless? Californication? What did you think?

1.11.2013

SFO ---> ORD

It's 4:30am and I have been awake for over 21 hours. If you have never successfully fallen asleep on a plane, I highly recommend not taking a red-eye. Miserable experience. The showing of Pitch Perfect made the trip slightly tolerable, but it all went downhill as soon as the guy behind me started snoring and my thoughts turned to all the different ways I could ruin his life. Alaina and I were traveling for work but were able to meet Taylor, Crystal, Julia, Caitlin, and Meg for dinner, and I saw one of my best friends the following night.

Travel outfit. J. Crew sweater (on sale!) | Lo & Sons OG | Decadent bag | Jeffrey Campbell loafers (sold out)

Caitlin invited us over after lunch. Her home is perfection.

 My home state is kind of pretty.

  Coffee with Alaina and Jodee
 
With Jodes. One of my best friends of 13+ years. I miss her face.

Red-eye flights are the worst. I am never doing this again. Ever. I need enough sleep so I can go to CrossFit at some point today. And I can't wait to see my pup. I miss that guy.

Landing in 35 min and then I'm off to bed. 

So tell me–can you sleep on a plane? What's your secret?

Happy Friday.

1.09.2013

Back soon


Heading to SF / Berkeley today.
Lunch with Caitlin.
Dinner with Taylor, Crystal, Julia, and Meg.
Taking part in an ideation session (the reason for our trip).
Dinner with one of my oldest/best friends.
Hopping on a red-eye tomorrow night. And I cannot sleep on planes. This is going to be fun!
Might need a little power nap Friday morning.

Follow me & the everygirl on instagram for updates.

photo by me during my last trip to SF in '10

1.08.2013

Redecorating. It's how I cope with stress.

Knowing that some of you "needed" to read those words turned my day around. But I'll be honest with you. I was not doing well until late last night. I woke up with a massive headache, was painfully exhausted, and I felt a little down and overwhelmed. It was a lot to process. But then I read your comments again. I also received an email about a possible magazine feature on Alaina and myself (we said yes!), and I took my inbox from 40+ emails down to 12. And finally–two of my sweet friends left me the kindest comments on Facebook. I felt happy and surrounded by love. So, thank you. I know I don't "know" most of you, but you brightened my day yesterday. Thank you.

Anyway...on Saturday night I was going through all these thoughts in my head and I got on video chat with Alaina and Caitlin. Oh, how I love those girls. We talked about a few things and then I started rambling about my apartment. And Alaina made a really good point. My last apartment was very neutral. Very me. I tried to step outside the box this time and realized that in an attempt to be different, I steered away from who I am and what I love. Not cool, people. Not cool. So it's back to the basics for me.

When I am stressed out, organizing, cleaning, and redecorating and organizing always seems to help. I love a project and love knowing things are where they should be (I told you I'm type A). I moved a side table, switched my sofa and bed throw pillows, and decided that my mantel needs a mirror. It's already feeling more like me. And even better–I've decided that the only pop of color in my apartment should be my beautiful Cocoa and Hearts painting by the lovely Jen Ramos. If you're going to let someone bring a little color into your home, she's your girl.

I am finally ready to choose a new living room rug from West Elm. Since my new living room is larger than the last one, I need an 8x10 rug to complete this space. I currently have the jute boucle in 5x8 which is being moved to my bedroom, and plan on ordering another jute boucle for my little hallway. It's a great rug! Very budget friendly and it holds up so well! I've had mine two years and it's still in great condition.

As much as I love the souk, I need to stick with something neutral. I'd love your thoughts. Should I go with the jute chenille herringbone or the oasis flatweave?


And I cannot wait for my new gold plug in sconces to arrive from Euro Style Lighting. Sconces are such a great way to fancy up a rental. You're investing in lighting that you can take with you, don't have to deal with any crazy wiring, and they're pretty, too. Win win win. And hello–they're gold.

I'd love your vote. Which rug would you choose?

1.07.2013

The Silver Lining


Blogs. We love to read them, but they can be as dangerous (to readers) as they are fun. We see photos of designer outfits, glitter, and perfectly styled vingnettes. We see perfection. If I just described your daily life, I want to know all your secrets. Seriously–email me.

I love pretty things as much as the next girl. I post product roundups, love fashion, and my home was featured in a magazine. There's lots of pretty in my life, but it's relatively balanced by the not-so-pretty, whether that be the crap piled all over my dining table, balancing multiple work projects, and other stresses in my life. But I have my health, friends, family, CrossFit, and of course, The Everygirl. And I do not take any of these things for granted. But it is important (to me) that I keep it real with all of you, and with myself.

I am working on finding happiness and contentment when everything isn't exactly as I want it. And really–when are things exactly as you want them? I'm running a business I dreamed of and things are going well. It is not easy but is something I wanted so badly. I pined over getting in shape for years (I'm talking the entirety of my 20s here) and found a workout that I love so much more than I ever thought possible. I wake up so happy that I can do push-ups and pull-ups. I have an amazing group of friends. A family who loves me. I am healthy. So given this information, I should just be happy. Right? 

Um...yeah, no.

I wrote this post over the weekend when I was going through a particularly difficult couple of hours. It all just hit me at once and I felt a little overwhelmed. Alaina invited me to come over and I almost took her up on it, but quickly realized that I should sit here with these feelings. So I sat down at the computer and started writing. And I just let myself feel everything. I thought about the good things in my life. The bad. Things I've been struggling through and things I want.

I woke up feeling much better on Sunday. Relaxed, cleaned, and did a little work before walking over to my friend Jess Lively's place so we could catch up and introduce the pups to one another. Franklin is the cutest thing ever, by the way. As always, I loved talking to Jess and she had some great advice for me. I decided right then and there that I would go ahead and publish this post, even if the whole thing is just me rambling incessantly. And I'm pretty sure we hit that point at least one paragraph ago. But this is where I am, and I want to put it out there. I need to put it out there. I want to figure it all out and then look back on it in the months and years to come. Like this post. That takes me back.

Based on my blog posts, instagram, FB, and tweets, I seem pretty happy. And I am. Things are going well but the past year has been a little overwhelming. I've been balancing running a website, interns, and a graphic design business. I used to take on approx 8 clients a week but that just hasn't been possible the past year. I can't keep up. So I've had to cut back and as a result, I've made less money than I'm used to. I am still constantly trying to find balance between my two jobs. Trying to balance the number of clients I can work with at a time isn't the worst problem to have.

I have a type A personality. Typical overachiever who likes stability and certainty. I set the bar high and work my ass off to get there. I dream big. At the same time, I am an entrepreneur which defines me as a risk taker. So I love stability but take risks with my career and as a result, my finances. I am a swirling mass of contradictions.

My point? Not sure. But I will say this–the next time you feel lost or like a piece of your puzzle is missing, please know that you are not alone. It is ok to let yourself feel defeated even when things are going well. It's ok to be sad even when you're happy. Let yourself feel it, but try to take a moment to think about all the good things in your life. It isn't always easy to do, but it usually helps a little bit. I did this and woke up feeling much, much better on Sunday morning. There is always always always a silver lining.

Chase after your dreams. Set your bar high. Live what you love. And when you're looking at blogs and instagram photos full of beautiful little vignettes and perfect outfits, try not to put so much damn pressure on yourself. Surround yourself with people who love you as much as you love them. Be kind to yourself and to others. We're all in this together.

...and I'm done.

image via

1.03.2013

CrossFit Goals for 2013

I started CrossFit on May 14, 2012 and am so excited to start 2013 as a CrossFitter. While I've gotten a lot stronger in the past 7.5 months, I have so many goals for the coming year and cannot wait to accomplish them. I am starting the year in the best shape I've ever been in, and for the first time, one of my goals isn't to figure out a workout routine. I cannot wait to see where I am a year from now!

As of today, I am back on the paleo challenge with Gina, Maxine, Bri, and Kelsey. I feel better when I follow a strict paleo diet, and after losing almost 25% of my body fat, I'd like to see where I can go in another month or two. There is no going back from paleo, but the challenge is a great way to keep you in check. No cheat days!

 Partner WOD with Colleen. 20 min AMRAP: 5 toes to bar, 6 wall balls, 7 hang power clean.

Let's start with what I've done

On day one, I could barely do a push-up on my knees. Just a few weeks in could do 10. I can now do 10 real push-ups (unbroken), but can do more if I give myself a little break. I can even do them during a WOD!

At the end of May, my max back squat was 65 lbs. By November 19 my back squat had doubled to 130 (more than my weight). My front squat went from 78 to 105, push press went from 55 to 85, and my dead lift went from 73 to 135. Best. Feeling. Ever.

I couldn't do a pull-up with a green band. A month and a half in I could do six. Three months in I could do four pull-ups with the blue band. I started to WOD with blue and red, then blue and pink, and skipped right to red. A few weeks ago I did 10 unbroken with the pink band, just two weeks ago got my first unassisted kipping pull-up, and last week I did my first WOD with the pink band (70 pull-ups!). I cannot wait to WOD without a band!

There is still so much I want to improve on which is one of the greatest things about CrossFit. You're always going for a new PR and are always getting stronger. Maybe one day I'll even do a muscle up like these guys. And yes–the boys at RNCF really like to take their shirts off when they work out.

Goals for 2013

Double Unders // I've done a max of 4 unbroken
Do pull-ups during a WOD without a band
Handstand push-up // need to work on getting in a handstand!
Max push press 100+ lbs // current max is 85
Dead hang pull-up
Get below 19% body fat in the next few months // athlete status
Rx KB swings
More Rx WODs
And most important–get stronger and healthier! 

If you are thinking about starting CrossFit, what are you waiting for? Let this be the year you completely change your life! And before you say it isn't for you (which is what I said before I started the basics program at RNCF) just give it a try. I used to HATE working out. Hate hate hated it. And now I find myself wanting to WOD after work. It's also the first thing I want to do on a Saturday morning. Aside from moving to Chicago and launching TEG, it's the greatest thing I've ever done for myself. And no–this is not a sponsored post. I just really love CrossFit.

What are your workout goals for 2013?

1.02.2013

This Year // 2013


I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions. In fact–I don't really make them. I prefer to create a list of goals for the year. Some I know I'll accomplish (or work my ass off trying) and others I hope to accomplish. I did not do everything on my '12 list but feel very good about the things I did do. And that's what it's all about. Making each year better than the last.

We make these big statements–I'll work out every single day, not eat any sugar, etc. and then beat ourselves up when we fail. A friend sent me one of those someecards that said: I'm opening a gym called resolutions. It will have exercise equipment the first 2 weeks and then turn into a bar for the rest of the year. I spent years saying I'd work out and when I found the right thing for me , I stuck with it. And even though I follow a mostly paleo diet, saying I'll never have any sugar, never indulge on dessert, or never splurge on pizza is crazy. If that works for you, I'd like to know your secret. Jess Lively just wrote something for The Everygirl on this topic, and if you are a person that makes resolutions or goals, I encourage you to read it.

One of my goals for '12 was to end up in the same city as my ex. I went back and deleted that portion of the post after we broke up but wish I hadn't because it serves as a reminder that we aren't always supposed to have everything we think we want. This relationship ended up being one of those things I wanted so badly, but I know in my heart that it was not meant to be. 

2012 was a great year. I was put to the test–heartbreak and running two businesses among other things. I learned what it really means to be overworked. But there was more good than bad, and the good was...well–pretty damn amazing. First and foremost, Alaina and I launched The Everygirl. We set out to inspire girls, and thanks to our amazing features and contributors (and lots of hard work), we've been able to do just that. We worked with Banana Republic, Kate Spade, Gap, Career Builder, and The Home Depot (among others) and were featured in Chicago Home and Garden, Glitter Guide, and just four months after launching the site, we made it to Forbes. After trying to figure out a workout routine for 10 years, I found CrossFit. My old apartment was featured in Rue Magazine, and I moved to a new place (which will be featured on TEG and another site in the next few months). I can say without any uncertainty that in spite of the struggles I've gone through, it just keeps getting better.

I like to view the new year as a fresh start. A chance to organize, move on from the things that didn't go so well, and look forward to better things in the coming year. I spent most of the weekend organizing my home. I worked out. I am ready for a fresh start. Ready to give it my all and make '13 the best year of my life. So here it is. My list of goals for 2013.

Grow The Everygirl
Alaina and I have some big dreams for TEG. There is still so much we'd like to do and I am so excited to see where '13 takes us.

Continue to work it
I have some big goals for CrossFit including a 100+ lb. push press, handstand push-ups, double unders, and Rx WODs. Full post on this coming tomorrow. I am also back on the paleo challenge with Gina, Maxine, and Bri! I have a little stomach bug and can only really eat crackers and soup right now (not paleo) so I start tomorrow. If any readers want to join in, please email me!

Challenge myself
I've stepped outside my comfort zone a lot the past few years–moved to Chicago, started a second business, started trying all kinds of different foods (this was a big one for me), weight lifting/a type of exercise that scared the hell out of me etc. and I would like to continue to push myself in '13. This means learning the ins and outs of my camera, actually using my camera instead of always relying on my iPhone, and not just finding a few recipes and repeating them over and over (I am so guilty of this) among other things. I would also like to continue to do my best to be this honest with all of you when I can.

Travel
I had a goal to make it to Paris and London by my 30th last September but sadly, it didn't happen. New goal is to make it there by Sept 17–before I turn 31. I have my travel buddy (shocker) selected and everything. I'd also love to go to Mexico (or anywhere tropical that involves me unplugging from everything). I need a vacation so badly.

Read the classics
I'd love to re-read The Great Gatsby and want to read a few classics that I haven't read but wish I did. 

Reconnect
I'd like to make an effort to connect with the friends I do not see as often as I should. I think starting a girls night club (kind of like a book club minus the books) once a month is a great idea. Taking turns hosting something in each of our homes–a chance to connect and have a little fun.

Save
I'd like to start putting money aside again this year. Things were tough financially for most of the year and I dipped into my savings. I am working really hard toward only buying things I need right now, and I am thrilled that I can expect to make more in the coming months.

Find love
The past year was all about The Everygirl. I was able to completely devote myself to the launch without any distractions, and then dive head-first into CrossFit. These two things are still obviously very important to me, but I feel like I'm finally ready for more. I've been living alone for 2.5 years and have created a great life here in Chicago. I'd just love someone to share it with. I know that it will happen when it should and that it might not be this year but I'm going to add this to the list anyway.
What are one or two of your big goals for the coming year?

photo via

1.01.2013

The Everygirl's "How to Style" sale for Joss and Main

2012

Happy New Year! I cannot believe another year has come and gone. Maybe it's just me, but this was one of the most life changing years of my life, and I cannot believe how quickly it flew by. The two biggest game-changers were the launch of The Everygirl and (wait for it...) CrossFit. While my move from LA to Chicago in 2010 led me to where I am today, this is the year it all seemed to come together.

This year also put me to the test. January - March Alaina and I had a total of 3 days off, including weekends. I learned what it means to let work completely consume your life, but I would do it again in a second. And even though there are still lots of late nights, it's so worth it. My relationship officially came to an end, great aunt Rose had some health issues, and things were generally pretty crazy. I am looking forward to a fresh start and can't wait to see what 2013 will bring.

January
My home tour was featured in Rue Magazine.
Alaina and I spent every waking moment preparing for the launch of The Everygirl.

February

We launched The Everygirl on February 2.22!

March
Photographed Alex Berlin's home for Glitter Guide.
Life was entirely devoted to The Everygirl. Only had 3 days off (including weekends) between Jan-March.

April
How to style a coffee table.
Traveled to Boston for The Everygirl. Met Erin Gates. Photographed Erin's house. Nine photo shoots in three days.

May
I started CrossFit on the 14th. Began paleo shortly after.
We held an event at BHLDN and finally met Caitlin.

June
 
Moved into my new apartment!
My mom visited Chicago.
Forbes listed The Everygirl one of the Top 100 Websites for Women and Top 10 Websites for Millennial Women.

July
My first 4th of July on the lake
After 10 years (on and off), J and I (officially) broke up
I wrote Things I'm Afraid to Tell You
TEG partnered with Random House to start a book club

August
Celebrated two years in Chicago
Newborn photo shoot
Gilt City rooftop party. Saw Of Monsters and Men live (amazing).
Two movies in the park and farmer's market

September
I look like such a b in this photo but assure you that I am actually a nice person.

A stroll through Central Park

Visited NYC for Fashion Week: Kate Spade presentation, Herve Leger, and the rewardStyle party
Partnered with Rue & Gap styld.by
We were featured on Camille Styles
Released a series of videos with Banana Republic and Career Builder
Celebrated my 30th birthday
Hosted an event for The Everygirl contributors/Chicago features at The Bedford

October
Finally visited LA and Santa Barbara
Began the 60 day paleo challenge on 10.15
Alaina and I were featured in Chicago Home and Garden

November
The Everygirl / Kate Spade / Vanity Fair event
The Everygirl put together a gift guide for Kate Spade's website

December
Holiday Week on The Everygirl
Alaina and I were featured in People's StyleWatch
We were also featured on Glitter Guide
My office was featured on Apartment Therapy
Threw a Christmas party
Celebrated Christmas with Alaina & her family

Cheers to an overall great year! I have a big list of goals for '13 and cannot wait to see all the progress I've made a year from now! Wishing all of my readers the best in 2013! xo

Read My 2011 recap here.
Read my 2010 recap here
And here's a random list of things I did in 2009.