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exploring-downtown-chicago

IMG_6212Over the weekend, I decided to spend some time exploring Chicago, the city I so love yet often take for granted.  Saturday was dedicated to on foot exploration of the most populous downtown attractions.  I spent the day walking along the Mag Mile, taking in the beautiful city views I often take for granted.  I hopped in-and-out of the many stores lining the tourist filled Magnificent Mile, made my way through River North, the Loop and finally Grand and Millennium parks as well as the waterfront.  I even made it a point to visit Cloud Gate (aka ‘The Bean’).  It’s been years since I’ve spent so much time in these areas and this weekend reminded me of why I love this city so much.Chicago Waterfront

I fell in love with the windy city just as I did during my first visit when I was nine years old.  I highly recommend taking some time to explore the city in which you live as though you were new to the area.  There will most certainly be more windy city excursions in the future, rediscovering different sights and neighborhoods in the city I so adore.

Thank you so much for reading and happy Monday!

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hometown-love

Happy Monday everyone! If you haven’t already gathered from previous posts, I love my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan!  I could honestly be a spokesperson for Pure Michigan and the city of Ann Arbor and would have endless this to say about my hometown and State.  Summer is undoubtedly the best time to be in Ann Arbor where the city is filled with art fairs, summer festivals and great energy.  Which brings me to why I was home this weekend.  Mid-July in Ann Arbor means one thing and one thing only, art fair! Each year, Ann Arbor experiences a 3 day long art fair (technically 4 fairs) where the streets of downtown Ann Arbor are closed to accommodate rows and rows of white tents.  These tents are filled artists and artisans from all over the country showing works of art from paintings to sculptures, crafts and so much more.  Even the local clothing stores such as Urban Outfitters get in on the art fair hype but more on that later.Over The Weekend :: Hometown LoveYou can always expect the 3 days of art fair to be filled with mass crowds, heat and at least one big thunderstorm.  Though I’m from Ann Arbor and love attending the art fair each year, it wasn’t my primary reason for being home.  I was excited to reconnect with a close friend from high school who was home from New York for the weekend.  We spent some time making our way through the art fair, even waking up at the crack of dawn to hit the racks of Urban Outfitters and the Getup, a vintage store in Ann Arbor, for their massive art fair sale where we found an additional 50% off of sale items.  Now that’s dedication to fashion! Check back later in the week to see the pieces I picked up.Over The Weekend :: Hometown LoveWith a beautiful and fun-filled weekend behind me, it’s time to focus of the week ahead.  My week will be spent preparing for an amazing trip to New York where I’ll attend a cousin’s wedding and connect with some of my closest friends.  I can’t wait to celebrate such a special day with my cousin and spend some time in one of my favorite cities!


Hope you all have a beautiful start to your week and thank you for reading!

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Workout Motivation

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consistently-go-gym

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s become painfully clear to me that losing weight is much, much harder than maintaining it (and much harder than I anticipated).  While I’ve found it fairly easy to change my eating habits, finding the time to consistently make it to the gym has proven to be quite a chore.  So when I saw this study published in the American Economic Association and reported in the Atlantic, I thought I’d give the concept a try.  The study looked at an effective way to improve consistent gym attendance through financial incentives.

It’s quite simple actually, the researchers found that “self funded commitment contracts can improve the long-term effects of an incentive program”.  Simply put, you’re much more likely to consistently make those gym dates when you’re in a contract with yourself with a financial incentive attached.

I’ve decided to give this concept a try and have set the terms of my contract as follows:

1) Workout (anywhere) 5 days a week – $5

2) Workout for a minimum of 30 minutes 3x/week – $5

3) Workout for a minimum of 1 hour 2x/week – $5

My contract is effective today and I’ve appointed a good friend to keep me accountable.  While I’m not tying this to a gym membership as was originally studied by the researchers, I’m hoping that the effects are comparable.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress and the efficacy of a self funded commitment contract.

Thank you for reading! Let me know how you stay motivated to consistently workout in the comments section below!

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